Boards Are IN

“Boards Are IN,” is an initiative to accelerate the number of people with disabilities in corporate boardrooms and in executive suites. The initiative engages companies, investors, regulatory bodies, stock exchanges, and corporate stewardship organizations around effective ways to increase corporate board-level disability representation.

On September 25, 2023, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. Dinapoli sent letters to 14 corporations asking them to consider their board’s diversity inclusive of people with disabilities in identifying director candidates.

Specifically, the letters asked companies to increase board diversity to include people with disabilities specifically by modernizing their nominating and/or governance committee charters and using model language, as per the Boards Are IN initiative.

Together, we call on stakeholders to:
  • Modernize corporate board nomination and governance committee charters to include candidates with disabilities in their definition of diversity as most already do with gender, race, and ethnicity. In the 2023 Disability Equality Index, only seven percent of 485 participating companies do so.
  • Adopt model language that many public companies and stock exchanges are already using to incorporate disability as an aspect of diversity when considering new board candidates.
  • Participate in the Disability Equality Index to analyze and improve their corporate disability inclusion programs and policies. Explore the findings from the 2023 Disability Equality Index Report.
  • Disclose disability data to investors and shareholders, who increasingly view diversity and inclusion as a vital component of corporate social responsibility.
  • Encourage voluntary self ID at senior levels in order for boards and companies to measure progress against diversity goals. View the Disability:IN Board self ID.
  • Partner with corporate steward organizations such as Equilar to access a pool of board-ready executives with disabilities. Disability:IN is a member of The Equilar Diversity Network.

Model Language for Modernizing the Corporate Board

To help prepare companies to modernize the nomination of corporate directors, Disability:IN has compiled model language from publicly available governance documents at a variety of companies. This resource provides samples of how disability can be integrated into board diversity initiatives.

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