Boardroom diversity is a business imperative, statistically proven to increase profitability and likely to yield many ancillary benefits as well. Over the last several years, directors have increasingly recognized that diversity is beneficial; prominent corporate leaders have publicly encouraged companies to strive for diversity on their boards; and institutional investors have pushed companies with greater urgency and publicity to increase the number of women on their boards.
And yet, despite advancements on the international front, there had been no U.S. federal or state regulation regarding boardroom diversity – until California passed Senate Bill (SB) 826. SB 826 requires publicly traded corporations whose principal executive offices are in California to have at least one woman on their board by the end of 2019.
This panel will explore the current state of affairs for boardroom diversity; how companies have been dealing with the pressures, whether from investors, employees, the media or the law, to diversity their boards; whether regulation versus organic change is preferable; and the challenges to and tools for achieving boardroom diversity.