Vote your Proxy

Care about putting more women on boards? Vote your proxy!

If you own shares of a company you have a say in how the company is run. Shareholders vote on a variety of issues, like the election of board members, executive pay, and environmental issues. The votes are counted at the company's annual meeting. If you can't attend the meeting, you're asked to vote by proxy. This is typically done by mail, although online proxy services are becoming very popular.

As a rule of thumb, for every share you own, you get one vote.  The more shares you own, the more votes you get. So, if you care about an issue, it's important to vote your proxy and let your voice be heard.

The next time you get a proxy form in the mail, review the board slate. Don't see a woman on the slate? The board's not at 20% women? Write on your proxy in big, bold letters: WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? If enough people ask the question, companies that don't have women on their boards will begin to understand that gender diversity is important to their shareholders. If you vote your proxy electronically and can't communicate with the company, then write a letter or send an email to the chair of the nominating committee or chairman of the board. That's how change is made.