Incapacity:IN and AAPD Urge SEC and Nasdaq to Embrace Individuals with Disabilities in Board Variety Proposal
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb.23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Disability: IN, the world’s leading nonprofit promoting inclusion and equality for businesses with disabilities, and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), a national cross- Disability The rights organization has jointly submitted positions to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NADQ) calling on Nasdaq to include people with disabilities in the proposed board diversity rules.
The letters were sent to Acting SEC Chairman Allison Lee and Nasdaq President and CEO Adena T. Friedman who are considering providing diversity statistics in among the more than 3,000 companies listed on the Nasdaq to request their boards of directors. Companies are also expected to add one or more different directors to their board of directors or explain why they failed to achieve their goals – or run the risk of being removed from the stock market – within a certain period of time.
Nasdaq defines a diverse director as one who identifies himself as a female, underrepresented minority, or LGBTQ +. People with disabilities are not included in the definition.
“Incorporating the diversity of disabilities into the company’s boardroom would mark a major turning point for the rights of people with disabilities and have the greatest impact on the economic independence and quality of life of millions of people with disabilities,” said Ted Kennedy, Jr., Chairman of the AAPD. “If that void persists, Nasdaq and the SEC will miss a tremendous opportunity to ensure that corporate governance reflects the diversity of the US and the world.”
“Nearly half of the world’s one hundred largest economies are public corporations, giving Nasdaq and the SEC a unique role in creating a more just and just society,” said Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability: IN. “Decisions are made in corporate boardrooms, and people with disabilities deserve to be represented alongside other diverse groups. We are simply asking Nasdaq to include people with disabilities in the definition of diversity for the proposed rule. “
Institutional investors also advocate the inclusion of people with disabilities as part of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities. Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third largest retirement fund in the country, asked the SEC for a broader definition of diversity, including disability. The New York Fund and its $ 76 billion Massachusetts counterpart, Mass PRIM, have also taken the next step of adding measures to include people with disabilities as a new part of their proxy voting policy. More investors are expected to follow suit.
According to Houghton, companies can register for the Disability Equality Index, a confidential benchmarking program run by Disability: IN and AAPD that tracks progress towards inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities. In its seventh year, more than 250 Fortune 500 companies are participating in DEI.
About disability: IN
Disability: IN is the world’s leading nonprofit resource for engaging businesses with disabilities. In cooperation with more than 235 companies, Disability: IN expands the possibilities for people with disabilities company-wide. The organization and 26 member organizations raise a collective voice for positive change for people with disabilities in companies. Through its programs and services, Disability: IN enables companies to achieve inclusion and equality for the disabled with the aim of advancing inclusion to the point where organization is no longer necessary. Visit us at disabledin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.
About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is an organizer, connector, and catalyst for change that empowers the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As the national organization for the rights of people with disabilities, the AAPD advocates the unrestricted civil rights of over 56 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunities, economic power, independent living, and political participation. For more information, please visit the AAPD website: www.aapd.com.
Suzanne Robitaille Archie Disability Group: IN 203-832-4107 [email protected]
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