Exchange in Focus: NYSE advancing board diversity

(26 June 2019) The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), a founding SSE Partner Exchange, announced the launch of the NYSE Board Advisory Council, which will proactively address the critical need for inclusive leadership by connecting diverse candidates with companies seeking new directors.

“It’s incredible to see CEOs of our NYSE community come together on this mission and join the NYSE Board Advisory Council,” said NYSE Executive Vice Chairman and Co-Chair of the Council, Betty Liu. “Board recruiting can be a difficult, time-consuming activity. At the same time, getting placed on a board can seem like a mysterious process where you need to know the right people. With the formation of this Council, we hope to smooth and accelerate this process for our NYSE community, while at the same time directly addressing the need for more diversity on corporate boards. I believe we’ll make a meaningful impact on creating a more inclusive future.”

The Council, which is comprised of 15 founding member CEOs from some of the world’s largest and most well-established brands, will leverage their own personal networks to identify qualified candidates interested in serving on boards. Through a series of live events, the first having been held at the New York Stock Exchange on June 25, the Council will introduce candidates to NYSE-listed companies seeking to expand diversity on corporate boards.

Lack of diversity on corporate boards is already a well-documented issue and the Council is designed to provide a step forward toward a solution.

Founding Members of the NYSE Board Advisory Council

  • American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK) President and Chief Executive Officer, Susan Story
  • Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Jan Zijderveld
  • com, Inc. (NYSE: CRCM) Founder, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Sheila Lirio Marcelo
  • The Container Store Group, Inc. (NYSE: TCS) Chief Executive Officer, Melissa Reiff
  • The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, James Quincey
  • Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) Chief Executive Officer, Ed Bastian
  • The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ), President and Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn Marinello
  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alex Gorsky
  • Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth C. Frazier
  • MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Fernandez
  • Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, David Taylor
  • Rent the Runway Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Hyman
  • Slack Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: WORK) Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Butterfield
  • State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), President and Chief Executive Officer, Cyrus Taraporevala
  • Twilio Inc. (NYSE: TWLO) Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Jeff Lawson

The Council will be led by former Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Seneca Women partner, Sharon Bowen and Duriya Farooqui, both Board Members of Intercontinental Exchange, as well as NYSE’s Betty Liu.

Thoughts from our Founding Council Members

“Successful businesses truly understand their customers, their employees, their communities and their investors – what they need, what they want and how to engage them with a purpose and values they share. Sustainable financial success is an outcome of doing all of these things better than anyone else. It starts with a board and CEO trusting in the power of a beautifully diverse and inclusive culture where everyone is valued and committed to high performance,” said American Water Works Company, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer, Susan Story.

“Diversity is critical to success – it opens up creative thinking, brings fresh perspectives and ignites new ways of working. Diversity improves business performance. I’m delighted to be part of the NYSE Board Advisory Council. Avon has a strong track record in creating opportunities for women’s economic participation, but there is always more to do, and I look forward to working with the other board members to continue to shift the dial on diversity in all its forms. This is really important work as we seek to go even further in opening up more opportunities for more talent, ultimately helping more businesses to thrive,” said Avon Products, Inc. Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Jan Zijderveld.

“Gender diversity on corporate boards is important to us as a business. We have made steady progress over the last decade, and we now have five women on our board. However, our work is far from done. We will continue to focus on increasing the representation of women on our board and, through this council, will encourage others to do the same. That is why I am thrilled to be a founding member of the NYSE Board Advisory Council,” said The Coca-Cola Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, James Quincey.

“Diversity is a key factor in a business’s ability to grow and thrive, while also helping employees become more creative, empathetic, and well-rounded, and it begins with a leadership team that truly believes and champions the importance of diversity. I look forward to being a part of the NYSE Board Advisory Council to help companies build diverse boards full of talented individuals with a variety of experience and skills that will benefit employees and all stakeholders,” said The Container Store Group, Inc. Chief Executive Officer, Melissa Reiff.

“Diversity at all levels helps drive business performance and fuel innovation. The breadth of experiences and perspectives that accompany gender and ethnic diversity leads to better quality decision-making in the boardroom. A diverse board also sends a powerful signal that can help the organization recruit and retain top talent. Merck’s mission of saving and improving lives around the world is best facilitated by welcoming the greatest range of talent available,” said Merck & Co., Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth C. Frazier.

“MSCI’s research finds that companies with more women on boards have been more likely to be recognized as innovators, and to have stronger talent management programs and higher employee productivity growth than their peers. We support the NYSE Board Advisory Council in its quest to connect boards with more diverse candidates who embrace new ideas, drive innovation, and can make a tangible impact,” said MSCI Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Fernandez.

“I am excited to be part of the NYSE’s Board Advisory Council to help address the diversity and equality gap that exists in many board rooms around the world. At P&G, we know we will be stronger and more successful if we have a diverse, inclusive and gender-equal company all the way from entry level to the Board of Directors,” said Procter & Gamble Company Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, David Taylor.

For more information on the New York Stock Exchange, click here.


About NYSE Group

NYSE Group is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses, and a provider of data and listings services. NYSE Group’s equity exchanges — the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE American, NYSE Arca, NYSE Chicago and NYSE National — trade more U.S. equity volume than any other exchange group. The NYSE is the premier global venue for capital raising, leading worldwide in IPOs, including technology IPOs. NYSE Arca Options and NYSE Amex Options are leading equity options exchanges. To learn more, visit www.nyse.com/index.

About Intercontinental Exchange

Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) is a Fortune 500 and Fortune Future 50 company formed in the year 2000 to modernize markets. ICE serves customers by operating the exchanges, clearing houses and information services they rely upon to invest, trade and manage risk across global financial and commodity markets. A leader in market data, ICE Data Services serves the information and connectivity needs across virtually all asset classes. As the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, the company raises more capital than any other exchange in the world, driving economic growth and transforming markets.

About the SSE

The SSE initiative is a UN Partnership Programme organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP FI and the PRI. The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SSE seeks to achieve this mission through an integrated programme of conducting evidence-based policy analysis, facilitating a network and forum for multi-stakeholder consensus-building, and providing technical assistance and advisory services.

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