Black female boss leading corporate multiracial team meeting talking to diverse businesspeople, african american woman executive discussing project plan at group multi-ethnic briefing in boardroom

In a bid to help improve the representation of women on corporate boards, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has launched an advisory council designed to connect companies with director candidates that will enhance their boardroom diversity.

The council comprises 15 CEOs of large, NYSE-listed firms that are pledging to help companies find new directors that improve the gender balance on boards.

“Lack of diversity on corporate boards is already a well-documented issue and the council is designed to provide a step forward toward a solution,” the NYSE said.

The new group includes the CEOs of The Coca-Cola Co., Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble Co. and State Street Global Advisors.

The council is being led by Sharon Bowen, former commissioner of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and director of the NYSE’s parent, Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE); NYSE executive vice chair, Betty Liu; and Duriya Farooqui, ICE director.

“Board recruiting can be a difficult, time-consuming activity. At the same time, getting placed on a board can seem like a mysterious process where you need to know the right people. With the formation of this council, we hope to smooth and accelerate this process for our NYSE community, while at the same time directly addressing the need for more diversity on corporate boards. I believe we’ll make a meaningful impact on creating a more inclusive future,” Liu said.

“MSCI’s research finds that companies with more women on boards have been more likely to be recognized as innovators, and to have stronger talent management programs and higher employee productivity growth than their peers,” noted Henry Fernandez, chair and CEO of MSCI Inc., who is on the council.

“We support the NYSE Board Advisory Council in its quest to connect boards with more diverse candidates who embrace new ideas, drive innovation, and can make a tangible impact,” Fernandez said.