A group of 11 pension and union funds with a collective $750 billion in assets has picked up the mantle [on board diversity in small and mid-size companies]. Called the Midwest Investor Diversity Initiative, the group, which includes the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, is calling on small and mid-size companies across six Midwest states to add women and people of color to their boards.
So far, the group has persuaded two dozen companies to adopt a version of the National Football League’s Rooney Rule to ensure women and people of color are considered for open directorships. Ten boards have added new members as part of the process, according to data released Tuesday. The initiative covers companies based in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.