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While public companies are improving both gender and ethnic diversity on their corporate boards, these issues remain leading concerns for shareholders in the current proxy season, according to advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS).

In a new report, ISS found that 98% of S&P 500 companies now have at least one minority board member, up from 88% in 2021. In the Russell 3000 index, approximately 80% of companies have at least one minority director, up from 54% last year.

Notwithstanding these recent gains, “in 2022, many investors will continue to ramp up their expectations for increased disclosure and greater ethnic/racial diversity,” ISS said.

The proxy advisory firm also found that efforts to boost gender diversity are making headway.

In the U.S., every company in the S&P 500 now has at least one female director, along with 96% of the Russell 3000, ISS reported.

For Canada, ISS found that 82% of issuers now have at least one woman on the board, and 24% have at least three women on their board, which is up from 20% in 2020.

“There has also been a steady increase of gender diversity across Asia,” ISS noted.

ISS said that climate-change risk will also remain a key topic for shareholders this year. The firm is tracking a record 123 climate-related shareholder proposals at U.S. companies this year, up from 91 proposals last year.

“We have not identified any shareholder proposals requesting shareholder advisory votes on climate transition plans in the U.S.,” ISS reported. But in the U.K. and Europe, “there is a continuation of companies putting their climate transition plans for a vote.”

ISS also suggested that executive compensation is likely to continue being an issue this year.

Last year, it saw an increase in rejected say-on-pay proposals, which “signals many institutional investors’ increased willingness to hold companies accountable for poor compensation decisions.”