Urban Outfitters Inc. shareholders will consider a joint proxy proposal from the $25 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds and Calvert Asset Management, calling on the company to broaden its pool of candidates for the board of directors to ensure women and minority candidates are part of every search.
“A growing body of academic research shows that there is a significant positive relationship between firm value and the percentage of women and minorities on boards,” according to the proposal by the Hartford-based pension fund and Calvert.
The proposal also calls on the company to report on its efforts to encourage diversity on its board.
The company recommends shareholders vote against the proposal, saying in a statement, “The imposition on the nominating process of gender and minority requirements and affirmative search obligations would undermine the company’s holistic evaluation of candidates, unduly restrict the nominating committee in the performance of its duties and add administrative burdens and costs, without necessarily resulting in the selection of the best director candidates for the company.”
The company’s annual meeting is May 17.