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Source: ISS Analytics; Note: 2019 is year-to-date figure; Chart: Axios Visuals

Louder calls from big investors and other Wall Street heavyweights have helped push the percentage of women joining boards to a record high. For instance, proxy advisers — who wield a lot of influence in how shareholders vote on issues — say they plan to take board diversity more seriously.

Driving the news: Last week, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) released its final voting guidelines for the 2020 proxy season. As expected, ISS will "generally" recommend that shareholders vote against certain board members at companies with all-male boards.

What they're saying: Mega-shareholder State Street told Vox earlier this year that it voted against board directors over 1,000 times "for lack of board gender diversity." (Its voting record on other gender-related issues, though, is dubious.)

Nuveen, the investment arm of pension fund TIAA, has also pushed companies to put women on boards — though not at all costs.

  • Nuveen said it did not not support an unnamed portfolio company's first woman board member during this year's proxy season.
  • Nuveen said the appointment of the woman — who was related to two other board members, including the chairman — would have "tipped the board to have less than a majority of independent directors."
"The appointment of a director with an inherent penchant to support management can limit diversity of thought in board discussions and further concentrate the authority of insiders."
Nuveen's 2019 proxy season review

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Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement Monday that police were launching a "full investigation" to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of the incident with police.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Tropical Storm Zeta nears

Municipality workers clean the streets of garbage in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Tuesday that was left by Zeta, which struck the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 Hurricane a day earlier — causing no major damage to infrastructure. Photo: Medios y Media/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and bring dangerous storm surge conditions to parts of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, ahead of the storm's expected arrival south of New Orleans.