Back Channels in the Boardroom

It’s easy for directors who are not seen as part of the “inner circle” to be excluded from informal side conversations. Not surprisingly, women get shut out most often. In one study led by Boris Groysberg of Harvard Business School, a fifth of the nearly 300 female directors surveyed reported that not being part of the “in” group was a barrier to their effectiveness, and a third of male directors said that women have limited acceptance on boards because of the old boys’ club. Of course, the inability or unwillingness to draw on all members’ expertise defies the logic of having highly capable people on the board.
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Should a Pension Fund Try to Change the World?

Harvard Business School professors Rebecca Henderson and George Serafeim discuss the efforts of Hiro Mizuno, CIO of GPIF, the Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund, one of the largest pools of capital in the world, to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into every aspect of GPIF’s portfolio. Mizuno believed the only way to meet his responsibilities to his beneficiaries was to improve the performance of the entire economy by improving corporate governance, increasing inclusion and gender diversity, and reducing environmental damage from climate change. But, would it be enough to change the world? Should a pension fund even try to change the world? Henderson and Serafeim discuss these questions and more in their case, “Should a Pension Fund Try to Change the World? Inside GPIF’s Embrace of ESG.”
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