Diverse Director DataSource – Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Background Information 

What is the Diverse Director DataSource?

The Diverse Director DataSource, known as 3D, is a resource for those seeking candidates for corporate board seats whose knowledge, skills and experience can bring fresh perspective to a boardroom. Corporate boards of directors require diverse skill sets and backgrounds that can advance a company’s business strategy and help create long-term, sustainable growth.

Why was 3D created?

CalSTRS and CalPERS are long-term shareholders who believe that directors with fresh ideas, differing backgrounds and focused skill sets are an important check against the kind of “group think” that played a significant role in the financial crisis. Diversity can provide the range of skills and experience companies need to succeed, giving them a competitive edge, allowing them to reflect the demographics of markets they serve and incorporate global perspectives.

The Diverse Director DataSource is a gateway to a broader universe of untapped talent that can help businesses thrive in challenging times.

What does “diversity” mean?

We mean diversity of thought, experience, a mix of skills, expertise, backgrounds, including age, gender and sexual orientation and identification, cultural and ethnic composition that are most appropriate to the company’s long term business needs to generate sustainable value creation.

Individuals on boards should have skills in a wide range of areas, including accounting or finance, international markets, business or management experience, industry knowledge, customer-based experience or perspective, crisis response, leadership and strategic planning.

What was CalSTRS and CalPERS initial financial support?

The two funds commissioned the Diverse Director DataSource and jointly provided $120,000 for the development and maintenance of 3D.

New Partnership

CalSTRS and CalPERS have formed a partnership with Equilar to help companies find untapped talent to serve on corporate boards. 

Why Equilar and its Diversity Network?

Equilar Diversity Network is the “registry of registries” of board-ready executives from leading ethnic and gender diversity organizations. EDN’s goal is to build a consortium that advances diverse representation in boardrooms across the globe.

EDN is accessible exclusively through Equilar BoardEdge™. BoardEdge is the premier board assessment solution, supporting board evaluation, benchmarking and refreshment. Currently, corporations and institutional investors have access to search the database of more than 150,000 board members and executives for candidates who meet various experiential and demographic criteria.

Will users be charged a fee to access 3D?

Interested parties should contact Equilar directly, 877-441-6090. Request a BoardEdge Demo.

Any qualified candidates interested in joining 3D may enter their profile at no cost. Join here.

Is the Diverse Director DataSource about quotas?

No. The Diverse Director DataSource is a method of identifying well-qualified individuals who may be considered for nomination to serve as board members to improve corporate performance.

While 3D is intended to identify a robust and diverse candidate pool, it does not create any preference based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. Any applicant or potential candidate may submit his or her details to 3D.

Subscribers to 3D determine the criteria for selecting candidates; additionally, the actual selection will be determined by the end-user, so 3D cannot dictate quotas.


How do people get their names in the Diverse Director DataSource?

Candidates for 3D will enter their details at the Diverse Director DataSource – 3D – Equilar Diversity Network.

Will applicants in 3D be guaranteed a board position?

No. The applicant may enter the registry for possible consideration when a board appointment opportunity arises.

The selection process will be rigorous and be driven by the company’s need to strengthen skills and experience. Inclusion in 3D does not guarantee either nomination or election to a corporation’s board of directors.

Will corporations be encouraged to use 3D?

Nominating committees of public and private company boards, as well as search firms, will be encouraged to use 3D to screen for potential director candidates who meet identified needs in experience, skills, and other qualifications for optimum board composition.

Will investors, like pension funds, nominate or select board candidates?

CalSTRS and CalPERS will continue to exercise our rights as shareowners, as we have always done. While the creation of 3D gives applicants more opportunities to be considered for a board seat, it doesn’t change our fiduciary responsibility to propose candidates we believe can help a company achieve long-term sustainable growth. The candidate still needs to be elected by the majority of shareowners at the companies’ annual meetings.

Who verifies the credentials of candidates and their responses?

Companies accepting candidates to the board will be responsible for due diligence. The candidate for a board nomination is responsible for his or her own data.