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In one recent 24-hour span, two women were pushed out of leadership roles at major U.S. corporations, spotlighting how investor pressure can frustrate efforts to broaden diversity in the boardroom.These women led DuPont, HP, General Motors, PepsiCo, Yahoo!, Xerox, Mondelez and Avon Products, but they also all have been in the crosshairs of influential Wall Street investors, activists who succeeded in pushing Kullman, Burns, Rosenfeld and McCoy to the exit.Shares in women-led businesses have produced 25 percent annual returns since 2009 compared to only 11 percent for the MSCI World index of large- and mid-cap companies, according to a study of 11,000 companies in 27 developed countries that was produced this month by Nordea Bank AB.Out of 28 investor campaigns launched by Trian since its creation in 2005, three have targeted women-led companies, meaning 89 percent targeted male corporate leaders, including Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, who recently stepped down.
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