UK-based investment company abrdn announced today that it has updated its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) expectations for portfolio companies, adding a requirement for companies in the S&P 1500 and Russell 3000 to have at least one racially or ethnically diverse member. The company said that it will take voting action against companies that fail to meet its DEI expectations.

In a statement announcing the updated DEI requirements, abrdn said:

“At abrdn, we know that making progress in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is critical in building long-term value for our clients, customers and shareholders. We will continue to engage with our companies to improve their diversity, expand our guidelines further, and vote against companies where necessary.”

The new requirement builds on abrdn’s current DEI policies, which include an expectation that large cap company boards have at least 25% female representation. abrdn said that it aims to raise this threshold to 30% in 2023.

The company said that it encourages companies to disclose their diversity data and communicate their diversity and inclusion strategies and progress, and takes voting action when it believes diversity action is insufficient. abrdn noted that it voted against management recommendations 165 times on DEI related matters globally in 2021.

The company said:

“We understand that DEI is a journey and that there are socioeconomic, cultural and regulatory contexts. Because we invest worldwide, we tailor our approach to each investment market’s circumstance. We are committed to pushing for progress and will continue to promote DEI through our investment activities.”