Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, has instituted a global gender diversity proxy voting policy for public companies in which it invests to promote more gender-diverse corporate boards, the C$368.3 billion ($276.3 billion) plan announced Friday.
CPPIB, effective immediately, will vote to oust the chairmen of board committees responsible for director nominations at public companies if the boards have no female directors, according to a news release.
The board already has such a policy for Canadian companies in which it invests. In 2017, CPPIB cast votes at the shareholder meetings of 45 Canadian companies with no female directors and undertook efforts to engage with these companies, according to the news release. A year later, nearly half of those companies had appointed a female director.
Board effectiveness is one of CPPIB's five engagement focus areas for its sustainable investing program. The others are climate change, water, human rights and executive compensation.
The new policy will be added to the board's proxy voting principles and guidelines for 2019, a spokesman said.