HCR 23 promotes gender diversity for corporate boards, senior management

OPERS appreciates House Concurrent Resolution 23 sponsor Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) and the 11 co-sponsors (Representatives Carfagna, Antonio, Scherer, West, Boggs, Kent, Ingram, Fedor, Arndt, Reineke, Kelly), for supporting HCR 23. The purpose of the resolution is to urge all private and public companies and institutions doing business in Ohio to commit to increase the gender diversity on their boards of directors and in senior management positions, and to set and publish goals by which to measure their progress.

The OPERS Corporate Governance program recognizes the fiduciary duty for all private and public company board members to act in the best interests of their companies and shareholders. As such, we believe asking boards to set and publish their own "aspirational targets" to measure progress toward increasing the number of women on boards, along with disclosing their commitment to achieve self-identified aspirational targets, will maximize shareholder value.

Despite women in the U.S. having consistently earned more bachelor degrees than men since 1982, more master's degrees than men since 1987, and more doctorate degrees than men since 2006, gender gaps remain.

OPERS believes in an increasingly complex global marketplace, the ability to draw on a wide range of viewpoints, backgrounds, skills and experience is critical to a company's success. In our view, companies combining competitive financial performance with high standards of corporate governance are better positioned to generate long-term value for their shareowners.

We encourage the Ohio General Assembly to approve HCR 23 to draw attention to the need for increased gender diversity in corporate boards and senior management, with an objective of improving corporate returns for shareholders, which we believe will improve and increase the return on investment made by the public retirement systems and other institutional investors.

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