State News

Groups call on Cato Corporation to diversify board

Posted 11:07 a.m. Friday

— An activist shareholder has criticized a Charlotte-based women's fashion retailer for its all-male board.

The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/2qBFkBq ) a Needmor Fund representative is expected to read a statement at Cato Corporation's annual meeting of shareholders Friday saying that the board's composition doesn't reflect commitment to racial and gender diversity. In March, the Thirty Percent Coalition, which pushes for women to hold 30 percent of public company board seats, sent a letter to CEO John Cato urging an increase in the board's diversity.

Cato says the company will try to broaden the board's expertise and backgrounds as openings arise.

The company rejected a request from the manager of Needmor Fund's shares to allow shareholders to vote on whether Cato should explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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