For-profit

Equilar Diversity Network

Location:

Redwood City, CA

Parent Organization:

Equilar, Inc.

Type:

For-profit

The Equilar Diversity Network is a left-of-center initiative dedicated to promoting diversity in corporate board membership. The group is a project of Equilar, a for-profit consulting firm that specializes in creating executive compensation tracking and governance tools for corporations, nonprofits, colleges and universities, media outlets, and law firms. The company has used the Equilar Diversity Network to partner with 36 organizations that promote ethnic and gender diversity on corporate. The Network’s central project is creating and maintaining a database of potential female and minority corporate board members, which currently has over 5,000 profiles. The group claims to have facilitated over 2,000 board appointments. [1]

Background

The Equilar Diversity Network is an initiative of Equilar, a for-profit consulting firm that provides data to corporations and other organizations on executive compensation and shareholder activities. The company offers several technology tools and databases to clients, including a relationship mapping tool. The company also partners with several firms and organizations as content partners who provide commentary, research, publications, and webinars. These content partners include BlackRock, the world’s largest investment company; CalPERS (the California Public Employees’ Retirement System); the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS); Vanguard; E Trade; and several large law firms. Equilar also has event partners, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS, and Meridian Compensation Partners, and media partners, including Bloomberg, CNBC, the Associated Press, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. [2]

The firm also provides data on proxy voting to help companies predict how shareholders are likely to vote on various topics, including controversial shareholder resolutions. [3]

Activity

Equilar offers data on over 180,000 companies and one million executives and board members, in addition to relationship management mapping for over 96 million connections. This data is offered to Equilar clients as a tool to evaluate potential candidates for their boards of directors. [4]

Using its board composition data, Equilar created the Equilar Diversity Network, which is a much smaller database curated to help companies fill seats on their boards based on gender and racial diversity preferences. The candidates featured by the Network mostly hail from a group of 36 membership organizations for business and nonprofit leaders of various ethnic backgrounds, as well as several groups for female leaders. The Equilar Diversity Network describes such groups as leading ethnic and gender organizations. These groups include the Latino Corporate Directors Association, the Kellogg Center for Executive Women, and the Women’s Leadership Foundation. To date, the organization has over 5,000 member profiles in its database and claims responsibility for over 2,000 board appointments[5]

The Equilar Diversity Network also has a partnership with NASDAQ, wherein NASDAQ-listed companies can access its diversity data to evaluate potential directors. This change coincided with new standards for NASDAQ companies surrounding board diversity. [6]

Equilar Diversity Network Partners other partners include 2020 Women on Boards, the 30% Club, Ascend, Athena Alliance, CalPERS and CalSTRS’ Diverse Director DataSource (3D), Catalyst, the Committee for Economic Development, DirectWomen, Georgeson, the HR Policy Association, Inforum Michigan, KPMG, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Sigma Pi Phi (Boule), the Society for Corporate Governance, Stanford Women on Boards, the Stanford Rock Center, TPG, the WCD Foundation, the Wellesley Business Leadership Council, WomenExecs on Boards, Women in the Boardroom, and Women’s YPO. [7]

References

  1. “Diversity.” Equilar. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.equilar.com/diversity ^
  2. “Partners.” Equilar. Accessed January 13, 2021.  https://www.equilar.com/partners ^
  3. “Proxy Voting.” Equilar. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.equilar.com/proxy-voting-results ^
  4. “Board Composition.” Equilar. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.equilar.com/board-composition ^
  5. “Facts.” Equilar Development Network. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://marketing.equilar.com/equilar-edn-faqs.pdf ^
  6. “Equilar and Nasdaq Announce Strategic Partnership to Advance Boardroom Diversity.” Business Wire. December 9, 2020. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201209005284/en/Equilar-and-Nasdaq-Announce-Strategic-Partnership-to-Advance-Boardroom-Diversity ^
  7. “The Equilar Diversity Network Announces Groundbreaking Executive and Board Ethnicity Data Campaign.” Bloomberg. July 30, 2020. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2020-07-30/the-equilar-diversity-network-announces-groundbreaking-executive-and-board-ethnicity-data-campaign ^
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Equilar Diversity Network


Redwood City, CA