Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Boston, approved new proxy voting guidelines designed to increase board diversity, ban guns in the workplace and prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities, said a news release from state Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg's office.
Under the voting guidelines Ms. Goldberg proposed, the $76 billion MassPRIM board will vote against board nominees for companies in which it owns stock if less than 35% of the board is composed of women and people of color; will vote for shareholder proposals banning guns on company property, with the exception of security-related uses; and will vote in favor of shareholder proposals designed to protect employees with disabilities from discrimination.
"The pension fund invests billions of dollars in publicly traded companies, and we want to do all we can to ensure these organizations are following best practices," Ms. Goldberg said in the news release. "Encouraging diversity, preventing workplace violence and protecting employees from discrimination is not only good for the people who work at these companies, but it is good for business and their bottom line."
The voting guidelines won't restrict or determine in which companies the state pension fund invests.
MassPRIM is a voting shareholder in more than 11,000 companies.