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25+ Companies Have Joined the Initiative to Close Gender Equality Gap in Business

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Women Business Collaborative (WBC), and lead sponsor Diligent, today announce a new strategic initiative focused on closing the gender equity gap in business. The Companies of Purpose Initiative will identify best practices of purpose-driven leadership to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in position, pay and power. It will share and scale ways to influence action and change in the “social” aspects of ESG including programs related to staffing, brand, and community.

“We’re proud to launch the Companies of Purpose Initiative with Diligent,” said Edie Fraser, CEO of the WBC. “Great leaders are stepping forward to put diversity and accountability at the heart of business — building more transparent organizations. By identifying and compiling a list of best practices in this area, we will empower organizations to develop and execute strategic and innovative ideas with tangible and practical tools and programs that will improve position, pay, and power for women and women of color in business.

In addition to Diligent, more than 28 public and private companies of purpose including 14 led by women (50%) have joined the initiative: ACLI (association), Akamai, CBRE, CISCO Systems, Diversified Search Group, General Motors, IBM, Knock, Kolar, Modere, New York Life, Omega World Travel, Pinnacle Global Network, Raytheon Technologies, Sanofi, Signet, SNT BioTech, Sodexo, Storyville Gardens, Sunny Days, Syndio, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Verizon, Wilmington/M&T Bank Corporation, and Zoetis.

One area of focus will be the composition of boardrooms across industries documented in the WBC ongoing survey Women Leading Boards. The study details the status of women on public and private boards. 2021 was a watershed year for board diversity with women holding 27% of all board seats, up from 24% in 2020, the largest one-year increase among the Russell 3000 to date. The initiative also will examine the state of DEI and ESG reporting in public companies across the Fortune, S&P and Russell indexes. The goal is to ensure that corporate purpose is directly linked to diversity, equity, and inclusion in business leadership.

“When it comes to building diverse board and executive teams, giving leaders visibility into best practices from other organizations is key to shifting intention into action,” said Lisa Edwards, President and COO of Diligent and board director at Colgate-Palmolive. “We’re proud to partner with WBC to bring this initiative to life and shed light on the gender equity gap in business and its impact on performance.”

The Companies of Purpose Initiative builds on the existing Diligent and WBC partnership which was created under the Diligent Modern Leadership initiative to increase diverse representation at the executive and board levels of global business.

About Women Business Collaborative (WBC)
The Women Business Collaborative (WBC) is an unprecedented alliance 70+ women’s business organizations and hundreds of business leaders building a movement to achieve equal position, pay, and power for all women in business. Through collaboration, advocacy, action, and accountability, we mobilize thousands of diverse professional women and men, business organizations, public and private companies to accelerate change. For more information on the Women Business Collaborative visit wbcollaborative.org

About Diligent
Diligent is the global leader in modern governance, providing SaaS solutions across governance, risk, compliance and ESG. Serving more than 1 million users from over 25,000 customers around the world, we empower transformational leaders with technology, insights, and confidence to drive greater impact and lead with purpose. Learn more at diligent.com.

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