The Conference Board Governance Center Blog

Mar
30
2016

Fact of the Week: The gap between women in the overall workforce and women in management is widest among financial companies

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

The gap between women in the overall workforce and women in management positions is widest among financial sector companies, according to research conducted by The Conference Board in collaboration with Bloomberg and GRI. Among the S&P Global 1200, financial sector companies reported the highest share of women in the workforce, a median of 51 percent. However, only 26 percent of management positions at financial companies were held by women – the widest gap of any sector. Despite encouraging developments over the last few decades with respect to the representation of women in the overall workforce, data suggests women continue to face significant hurdles to advance their careers.

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Mar
08
2016

Fact of the Week: While median corporate political contributions among the S&P 500 remain modest, pressure continues for greater transparency

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

About 1 in 10 S&P 500 companies disclose their political contributions in their annual reports, according to research conducted by The Conference Board in collaboration with Bloomberg and GRI. Data for 2014 show median political contributions among these companies amounted to just under $300,000. While this represents a relatively modest amount, if not managed well, political contributions can generate significant risks to a company’s brand and reputation. Disclosure of political contributions is likely to rise as institutional shareholders and proxy voting advisors become increasingly vocal on the need for greater transparency.

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Feb
24
2016

Fact of the Week: Despite the increase in sustainability reporting, few companies share data on environmental fines

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

Fewer than one-fifth of global companies publicly disclose the total amount of environmental fines, according to research conducted by The Conference Board in collaboration with Bloomberg and GRI. Data for 2014 show 18 percent of S&P Global 1200 companies reported these fines, slightly up from 16 percent in 2013. As sustainability reporting becomes more commonplace, companies should ensure their reporting includes an accurate representation of positive and negative environmental information.

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Feb
17
2016

Fact of the Week: Seeking energy consumption reductions, companies increasingly turn to green building policies

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

Almost one-third of global companies report having a green building policy, according to research conducted by The Conference Board in collaboration with Bloomberg and GRI. Data for 2014 show 29 percent of S&P Global 1200 companies reported having such a policy, up from 26 percent in 2013. This is consistent with growing demand for green building as companies seek more sustainable approaches to the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings. The increased adoption of green building practices can have a significant impact on global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as buildings use about 40 percent of global energy and are responsible for about one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Feb
10
2016

Fact of the Week: Company-wide Day of Service is the most successful volunteer program

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

Research conducted by CECP, in association with The Conference Board, found that approximately half of companies (54 percent) offered a company-wide Day of Service volunteer program; however, 80 percent of those companies considered it the most successful of their volunteer programs. Dollars for Doers and Paid-Release Time came second and third respectively. Both reported slightly higher percentages of companies offering the programs, but success rates among those companies were 65 percent and 68 percent respectively. A successful volunteer program is defined by the Giving in Numbers Valuation Guide as one that is supported and understood organization-wide, and that has specific, measurable goals that are tracked, among other criteria. The survey asks companies to identify their top three most successful programs.

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