Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and Trillium Asset Management announced today that investors have secured an agreement from SBA Communications Corporation (SBA), a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, to expand disclosures relating to its commitment to diversity, inclusive of gender race and ethnicity, and publish a skills and diversity matrix noting key qualifications, skills and attributes most relevant to the decision to nominate candidates to serve on the company's board of directors.
"A growing body of research shows that companies with stronger diversity at the senior level tend to outperform those companies that lack diverse leadership teams," said Treasurer Magaziner. "As long-term investors, we are pleased that SBA made good-faith efforts to engage with investors and strengthen its board governance and disclosure practices."
The Rhode Island Treasurer's Office joined Trillium Asset Management as co-filer on a shareholder proposal with SBA (NASDAQ: SBAC) requesting the board of directors provide investors with information on steps the company is taking to enhance board diversity.
"The business and societal benefits of diversity are numerous," said Susan Baker, Vice President of Trillium Asset Management. "We are pleased with the productive and collaborative dialogue we had with senior leadership. SBA's board has taken important steps to strengthen its governance practices and expand the diversity of skills and perspectives in its ranks as evidenced with its recent appointment."
In December 2019, SBA announced that Fidelma Russo, Chief Technology Officer at Iron Mountain, would serve on the company's board of directors. Ms. Russo is one of two female members on SBA's nine-member board.
As of 2019, every company represented in the S&P 500 has at least one female director. Despite recent progress among the largest companies, women and people of color remain underrepresented on U.S. corporate boards with 20 percent of companies in the Russell 3000 having all male boards.
As policy, the Rhode Island Treasurer's Office will vote against non-diverse board nominees if the board will not be at least 30 percent diverse, inclusive of race and gender, following the election.
The Treasurer's Office and Trillium Asset Management are members of the 30% Coalition, a national organization that works to promote gender diversity, including women of color, on corporate boards to reflect the gender, racial and ethnic diversity of the United States workforce.