New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli testified today before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion. The hearing, titled “By the Numbers: How Diversity Data Can Measure Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” focused on how investors utilize such data.
DiNapoli said research has shown that companies face risks when their corporate policies, practices or products are perceived to be discriminatory or compounding inequities. By contrast, companies that foster diversity are more likely to outperform their less diverse peers. When they develop a culture of equity and belonging, companies are better positioned to drive long-term value for shareholders. By not addressing diversity and inclusion, DiNapoli noted companies are more likely to underperform their peers, face reputational risks, and jeopardize long-term returns.
DiNapoli is the trustee of the estimated $247.7 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), the third largest public pension fund in the nation. Under his leadership, the Fund has launched a multi-faceted initiative to hold publicly traded corporations and their top executives accountable for their diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices.
His Corporate Governance program has helped increase diversity on corporate boards, advocated for workplace protections against discrimination, urged companies to address racial equity issues, and championed greater inclusion of people with disabilities.
DiNapoli has directed the pension fund to cast its proxy votes to oppose directors at companies that fail to include underrepresented minorities and women on their boards, fail to disclose their workforce’s racial or ethnic diversity, and refuse to embed diversity in their search for new board directors.
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