BlackRock adds diversity target for U.S. boardrooms -Breaking
Jessica DiNapoli, Ross Kerber
(Reuters] -US asset manager BlackRock Inc (NYSE 🙂 Tuesday stated that it wanted U.S. companies aiming for a diverse board of directors with at least one person from an under-represented background.
The $9.5 trillion asset manager gave new guidelines to portfolio companies explaining their priorities for 2022. These new guidelines were posted online. It also provided guidance on reporting on climate change for companies. It said that fossil fuels investment will need to continue.
The updates together showed that the New York-based company was taking similar steps to large asset managers who press portfolio companies about environmental, governance, and social considerations.
This month, earlier Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:). Inc stated it wanted big companies with at least one director representing an under-represented population, citing growing corporate diversity disclosures.
As investors, customers and employees pay more attention to boards, they have added new members to increase their diversity.
According to Spencer Stuart, executive recruitment firm, 21% are Black, Asian, or Hispanic directors. Women now make up 30% of all S&P 500 directors, Spencer Stuart said.
According to a spokesperson from BlackRock, the U.S. will continue to increase in number of companies that disclose data. A spokesperson explained that under-represented directors can be racial, ethnic, or gender minorities as well as people who identify with LGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities.
Although BlackRock did not state when it would vote to disqualify directors from companies not meeting its standards, the guidelines indicated that they would focus on large companies first. In 2021, the firm voted against more directors than it did in past years because of a dearth in diversity.
REPORTING IS AVAILABLE IN ADDITIONAL FORM
BlackRock had previously urged companies to disclose their climate-related emissions under the SASB standards set by the Value Reporting Foundation. BlackRock indicated Tuesday that some companies might use different standards. This was in response to the announcement of the United Nations Climate Summit, which took place last month.
BlackRock stated that it will encourage businesses to demonstrate how they would adapt to global warming efforts, as well as the benefits of new energy resources.
It added that “some continued investment is necessary to keep a reliable and affordable supply of fossilfuels during this transition.” BlackRock advised that companies should make clear how they allocate capital to meet emissions reduction goals.
BlackRock stated that companies that want to change their corporate structure should vote in shareholders. A growing number of supporters are supporting the shift of companies to public benefit corporations to protect employees’ rights.
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