Diverse Director DataSource provides help for companies seeking diverse candidates.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and GMI Ratings, an independent provider of global corporate governance ratings and research, are partnering to offer a new resource to help companies find diverse talent to serve as directors.

The Diverse Director DataSource (3D) is a database available at www.GMI3D.com, which includes more than 400 completed director candidate profiles representing a wide variety of industries, geographies and areas of functional expertise, as well as ethnicities, genders and ages. An additional 300 profiles are currently being processed and will be added shortly. New applicants interested in serving on corporate boards can submit their profiles on the website free of charge. Starting today, companies, shareowners, diversity groups and other organizations will be able to access 3D to begin addressing concerns about diversity on corporate boards.

‘We see 3D as a market solution to a supply and demand situation,’ said CalSTRS director of corporate governance Anne Sheehan in a statement. ‘As promoters of long-term shareowner value, we’ve been demanding greater diversity on the corporate boards of our portfolio companies for quite some time. Now we’re prepared to provide a tool to supply corporate search firms and nominating committees with a deep breadth of quality board candidates. These professionals can not only do the job, but approach issues from diverse perspectives, forged by a wide variety of backgrounds and experience, as well as by gender or ethnicity.’

Richard A Bennett, chairman of the board of GMI Ratings, said, ‘We know that corporate boards work best when they reflect a diversity of perspective and experience. With 3D, we created an accessible resource to help companies and recruiting firms identify and recruit candidates sometimes overlooked under traditional search processes.’

CalPERS and CalSTRS began work on the Diverse Director DataSource over two years ago, with strong support from California state controller John Chiang, who spearheaded an effort to improve diversity on corporate boards. Chiang is a board member of both pension funds. The new service was developed with the help of investors, companies, search firms, business diversity networks and academics. GMI Ratings took ownership of the website last year.

Anne Simpson, CalPERS senior portfolio manager and director of global governance, expects 3D to make a great contribution to improving board effectiveness. ‘3D is an innovative resource that opens the door to finding candidates whose fresh ideas and new perspectives can help companies generate lasting, sustainable value and provide a check against the kind of ‘group think’ that played a significant role in the financial crisis.’