NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Announced at the WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) Global Institute this spring, the WCD Global Nominating Commission has launched a series of initiatives – beginning this fall and to be rolled out in 2013 – designed to improve board diversity worldwide. Co-chaired by Myra Hart, Ann Korologos, and Maggie Wilderotter, the Commission is a high-level task force of top board nominating chairs and committee members, as well as CEOs, dedicated to actively building diverse boards and candidate slates. In the first six months, the group has grown rapidly, with 40 members representing six continents. Along with debuting new board education seminars in early 2013 – first in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and then moving on to other cities – the Commission is today issuing its "Best Practices for Director Selection and Development." The report comes out just as Catalyst releases its 2012 Catalyst Census of Fortune 500 Women Board Directors, which reports that this year women hold 16.6% of board seats of Fortune 500 companies, a number unchanged from last year, and years previous. Ilene H. Lang, president and CEO of Catalyst and a member of the WCD Global Nominating Commission, says: "Despite heightened conversation globally around women's representation on corporate boards, the 2012 Catalyst Census once again showed no change for the seventh consecutive year – and the challenge is not lack of qualified women." She continues, "our research also shows the advantage to companies when women gain access to the boardroom. Catalyst hopes that by bringing research-based data to the table, we can work together towards gender diversity on corporate boards, which will enable companies to benefit, finally, from the expertise of their talented women leaders." "Companies are becoming starkly aware of the push for diverse boards from multiple stakeholders, including regulators, but they need guidance on how to get there," says Susan Stautberg, a member of the Global Nominating Commission and co-founder/co-chair of WCD. "Our goal is to provide decision makers with a roadmap to build diverse boards that are multi-gender, multi-skilled, multi-national, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational. In order to do this, WCD is creating partnerships with leading organizations around the world such as Catalyst."