MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

California Bill Requires All Corporate Boards to Have a Token Woman

The bill has passed both houses of the state legislature. Now it just needs Jerry Brown's signature.

Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime.comMonkey Business Images/Dreamstime.com

California might become the first state in the nation to force publicly traded companies to put women on their boards of directors.

After passing in the Assembly on Wednesday, SB-826 breezed easily through the Senate yesterday. Now it heads to the governor's desk, where Jerry Brown has until the end of September to sign it into law.

Here are the legislation's specific requirements, according to the Los Angeles Times:

The bill would require that publicly held corporations headquartered in the state include at least one woman on boards of directors by the end of 2019, and at least two by July 2021. Corporate boards with six or more members would be required to have at least three women on the panels by the middle of 2021.

Companies found to be in violation of the law would face a fine.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D–Santa Barbara), who co-authored the bill, says it's necessary because women are underrepresented on California's corporate boards.

"One-fourth of California's publicly traded companies still do not have a single woman on their board, despite numerous independent studies that show companies with women on their board are more profitable and productive," she said in a statement. "With women comprising over half the population and making over 70 percent of purchasing decisions, their insight is critical to discussions and decisions that affect corporate culture, actions and profitability."

A coalition of business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, say in a joint statement that they're all for gender equality but this isn't the way to go about it. The legislation "requires publicly traded corporations to satisfy quotas regarding the number of women on its board or face significant penalties, which is likely unconstitutional, a violation of California's Civil Rights statute, and a violation of the internal affairs doctrine for publicly held corporations," the statement says.

While California would be the first state in the nation to adopt such a measure, other countries, including Norway and Germany, have similar policies.

The measure would affect 377 of California's largest publicly traded companies, plus many smaller businesses.

If the bill becomes law, some of Silicon Valley's biggest corporations might have to make changes. Facebook, Apple, and Alphabet (Google's parent company) each currently have two women apiece on their boards. Each company would likely have to appoint an additional woman by 2021 in order to meet the quota.

Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    If the bill becomes law, some of Silicon Valley's biggest corporations might have to make changes. Facebook, Apple, and Alphabet (Google's parent company)

    Are these companies incorporated in California? What happened with Delaware being the choice of state for incorporation?

  • Careless||

    "301.3. (a) No later than the close of the 2019 calendar year, a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices, according to the corporation's SEC 10-K form, are located in California"

    Where they're incorporated wouldn't matter

  • perlchpr||

    What's involved in filing a new one of those SEC forms?

  • ||

    It looks like the SEC 10-K form has to be filed annually, and the "Address of principal executive offices" is just an entry on the form.

  • Rossami||

    Filing the new form is easy. What's hard is actually moving your executive offices. Lying on an SEC form is a far more serious violation than anything California can impose.

  • perlchpr||

    You're correct, and I didn't mean to imply that they should actually lie on the form.

    A better way to ask the question would have been, "What is the legal requirement for the location they fill in on that form? What's the legal definition of 'headquarters' for this purpose?"

  • Jim Logajan||

    Most of the affected public companies are incorporated in Delaware or other corporation-friendly states.
    This law reaches across state lines to dictate the makeup of a corporation's board membership in other states. It also dictate to the stockholders a limitation on their choices for membership on the boards.

    So it usurps the authority of those other states to regulate the corporations formed in them, as well as the wishes of the stockholders/owners as to who they want representing them on.

    I can't imagine other states being thrilled to see California reaching beyond its borders to dictate board membership of their corporations.

  • damikesc||

    I don't see how it could possibly pass constitutional challenges.

  • BigT||

    Unconstitutional. Sex discrimination.

  • I can't even||

    What kind of moron would incorporate in California?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The law says headquartered, not incorporated. I don't know if that difference means anything or not, other than companies moving their HQ's out of CA.

  • Pizzagate Conspirator||

    One is that state where the company has its literal physical headquarters, the other is the state in which the corporation was legally created. I imagine most large companies with their HQs in California would be incorporated in Delaware for legal reasons. And I don't imagine many of them spending the tens/hundreds of millions needed to uproot their physical headquarters when employing a token woman or two would work just as well.

  • JWatts||

    "And I don't imagine many of them spending the tens/hundreds of millions needed to uproot their physical headquarters when employing a token woman or two would work just as well."

    I agree, but it is another straw on the camels back.

  • Len Bias||

    Pizzagate: "And I don't imagine many of them spending the tens/hundreds of millions needed to uproot their physical headquarters when employing a token woman or two would work just as well."

    I work for a tech giant in Silicon Valley, and they are building up a bunch of huge campuses in Texas and moving more and more jobs there. Once they got this established, it wouldn't be too hard to move the headquarters there. While one law probably won't cause them to make the move, if CA keeps piling on these laws, they almost certainly will.

  • JWatts||

    "I don't know if that difference means anything or not, other than companies moving their HQ's out of CA."

    Yet another reason to move HQ's out of CA. Nissan left LA for Nashville in 2006. To the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. Toyota moved to Texas a couple of years ago. This kind of regulatory burden encourages relocating.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What kind of moron would incorporate in California?

    Sevo

  • Sevo||

    What kind of moron would make that claim?

    Chipper Morning Baculum

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Don't you live in SanFran?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    "Live" is a strong term for what he does.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Reason

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    I, for one, say it's about time that shareholder interests are forced upon corporations by government edict.

    Now they will be required to have board members whose job is to sit there and look pretty.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    So many have been failing so badly for so long

  • Microaggressor||

    "One-fourth of California's publicly traded companies still do not have a single woman on their board, despite numerous independent studies that show companies with women on their board are more profitable and productive,"

    So profitable, that they have to be forced to do it. Good thing California is run by smart people or one day it might go broke.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I dunno, at this point if you still think it's a good idea to headquarter in California, you're probably already all-in on the stupidity.

  • Huh18?||

    Perhaps the worlds fifth largest economy and 40,000,000 people might be the draw?

  • soldiermedic76||

    You don't have to be headquartered there to do business there. Pretty fucking stupid statement on your part.

  • Ska||

    And yet it's in the top 5 states for corporate headquarters. NY and TX are up there, too. Access to talent is pretty important.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Yet NY and Cali are now trying in many cases to write new laws and tax breaks to encourage companies to not leave. Especially NY.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Considering how many are moving to Texas, Neveda, Colorado and the Midwest, I think they can find talent anywhere. Nothing special about California.

  • Agammamon||

    Especially since the wealth and 'culture' discrepancy between, say, LA or SanFran and Dallas isn't as great as it was a generation ago.

    We've got the internet now, most of these people don't spend a lot of time at the museum, and you can find hipstery coffee and art houses everywhere if that's your thing. And frankly, the non-executive talent are nerds anyway and I don't think the 'cultural' things that the really rich like to have in their cities are of more than passing interest to them.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Also, has it's rankings increased or decreased over the last decade?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I fully understand that people like to point out how much air is in the balloon while pretending there isn't any air escaping from that hole everyone is staring at.

    California is facing a bigger issue than its tussle with the Federal government over sanctuary cities. According to a November report from the U.S Census Bureau, the Golden State has had 142,932 more residents exit to live in other states than people arriving from other states. This domestic outmigration was the second largest outflow in the U.S. behind New York and New Jersey. It was up 11 percent (13,699 net departures) compared to 2015.
  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What is more serious is the number of California-based companies that have left or signaled their intention to leave the state. Last year marks the first anniversary of the announcement that Carl's Jr., a California burger icon for more than six decades, was relocating its headquarters to Nashville. It's a symbol for what's become a stream of businesses that have quit California. What was once an almost quiet exodus of companies now looks more like a stampede.

    Among the roll call of businesses abandoning California for more hospitable business environments includes Toyota which has left Torrance and will complete the move of its U.S. headquarters to Dallas in the coming month. Also having left for Dallas is Jacobs Engineering Group, $6.3 billion firm formerly based in Pasadena that has more than 230 offices across the world, employs 60,000 and generates $12 billion in annual revenue.

    Nissan North America (left for Nashville a decade before Carl's Jr. did), Jamba Juice (traded San Francisco for Frisco, Texas), Occidental Petroleum (prefers Houston over Westwood for its headquarters), Numira Biosciences (departed Irvine for Salt Lake City) and Omnitracs, a software firm (waved goodbye to San Diego and said hello to Dallas). Chevron moved 800 jobs from its Bay Area headquarters to Texas, and Waste Connections shifted more than 100 jobs to Texas from Folsom.
  • damikesc||

    Am I the only one shocked anybody still chooses to live in NJ?

    It's like a slightly more corrupt NY without the nice restaurants et al.

  • Antilles||

    What self-respecting woman would take such a position? They get pissed when a guy holds a door for them, but they're OK with this blatant pandering by the government? I suppose they believe the ends justify the means...

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Every woman on a California board now gets the nickname "Token Bitch".

  • Careless||

    Someone who likes easy money?

  • prolefeed||

    Someone who thinks they got the job based on merit instead of coercion?

  • damikesc||

    Somebody who now FEELS like a woman? I mean, they actually buy into trannyism there. What is to stop a male board member from feeling like a woman?

  • Billy Bones||

    Nothing says "equality" like "gender quotas".

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    The faster you learn that feminism is not and was never about equally, the faster everything will make sense

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Some all-women board will be sued for not having men.

    Some all-hetero board will be sued for no gay members.

    Some hetero+gay board will be sued for having no trans members.

    Pretty soon, all boards will have to have 100 members just to include all possible categories.

    Idiots.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Will happen, won't win.

    Will happen, won't win.

    Will happen, will win.

    Will happen.

    Yes

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I figger the more likely out come of $1 is someone suing to overturn the law because it is not gender-neutral.

  • Huh18?||

    I think at best, they MAY be able to ban state agencies from doing business with non-compliant boards. Other than that, I don't see how this could possibly be legal.

  • Longtobefree||

    What's legal got to do with it? They said California didn't they?

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Loophole: Someone just has to IDENTIFY as a woman when the Board meets.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Interesting! How would California address this? Maybe make it a rotating position. Jim it's your turn to be the token bitch this month.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    It would be assigned after the fact based on who made the most irrational statement.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Will there be a stipend?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    They'll demand some sort of ID.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I have X on mine already.

  • Jim Logajan||

    Correct - the bill says "1) "Female" means an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth."

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Cool. I always joked that I would wear a dress for a year if I got CEO pay. I suppose a board position would have to do (for now).

  • An Non||

    Now, now, it'd be transphobic to insist that you wear a dress. The important thing and the only one necessary is that you self-identify your gender as a woman.

    That you will be a rather masculine-looking one will merely be very rude to point out.

  • perlchpr||

    I do wonder if there's any point at which people will realize that this 'standard' is ridiculous.

    Like, I'm built like a linebacker and hairy as a gorilla. If I just say "Yep, I'm a woman." I'm pretty skeptical that I should be believed.

  • GILMORE™||

    really appreciate the brave stance Reason has taken here criticizing this.

    Who was it who said (paraphrasing),

    "An incompetent or unwilling defense is a greater threat to a cause than the wit or aggression of its enemies"

    ? Think it was George Orwell. Can't remember.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I think you made that up, like you made up all your silly oppressive sartorial dictums.

    [puts on sandals over socks]

  • Hugh Akston||

    Gil is obviously trying to drive home the point about incompetent defense of a position by defending his position so incompetently.

  • CE||

    Like if you wear a bowtie when writing about baseball, no one will take you seriously?

  • Aloysious||

    Oh, yeah? I can top that.

    *Puts on thong over sweat pants*

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    [Reason publishes an article about some stupid Trump culture war bullshit]

    Reason commenters: GODDAMMIT REASON WHY CAN'T YOU FOCUS ON SOMETHING IMPORTANT RATHER THAN ALWAYS CRITICIZING TRUMP! LIKE THE NATIONAL DEBT! OMG THE NATIONAL DEBT IS DROWNING US ALL!

    [Reason publishes an article about some stupid California culture war bullshit]

    Reason commenters: GODDAMMIT REASON WHY CAN'T YOU CRITICIZE AND DENOUNCE MORE FORCEFULLY WHAT THEY'RE DOING! WHY THEY ARE LITERALLY DESTROYING THE COUNTRY! DESTROYING I SAY!

  • Hugh Akston||

    I hope California is ready for the influx of corporations rushing to move their headquarters into the state to be part of this exciting new opportunity.

  • Eric L||

    Will it count if said person has a penis but identifies as a woman? I have been told that as long as the person self identifies as a woman then they are a woman.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Uh oh, someone found the obvious loop hole.

  • perlchpr||

    Hey now, I've been saying this for weeks. ;)

    But yeah. I can't wait for the inevitable shitstorm that will occur when that gets used by some company. Either the state will say "That doesn't count, he's not really a woman", in which case the left will scream, or they'll say "I guess we have to accept that", in which case a different portion of the left will scream.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Make it a rotating position. Every member has to be the token bitch at some point.

  • perlchpr||

    Enh. The law just says they have to have N women, not that there's a limit. It'd make more sense for everyone on the board to do it, so there's no particular stigma attached to any of them individually.

  • Agammamon||

    Ooh! Then they might be able to qualify for 'women-owned business' privileges.

  • Microaggressor||

    That's one reason why I might actually support this law. Break out the popcorn, enjoy the infighting, and watch California burn.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    ... From the Nevada border, once in n out packs up and leaves

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is insulting to women.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is insulting to all humans with a brain.

    Fucking Socialists in Commifornia just need to have federal injunctions issued weekly and fill in the stupid California action on a blank line.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Not at all. Women aren't capable of navigating public life. This represents freedom. Is a wheel chair ramp 'insulting' to crippled people?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Women aren't crippled because they're women.

    My mother has been on boards--in California--for a long, long time, and she didn't need a wheel chair ramp.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Yes they are. They're crippled retards and if we don't erect social wheel chair ramps for them to help lift them into every institution, then what kind of society are we? That's not who we are.

  • JWatts||

    "My mother has been on boards--in California--for a long, long time, and she didn't need a wheel chair ramp."

    So, your mom's an Aunt Jemima then. -j/k

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    She sounds hot

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Depends how steep it is.

  • vek||

    The truth is, at the statistical level, women just aren't competitive with men in a lot of areas. Things like being at the very tippy top of big businesses is one of those areas. There are a variety of reasons for this, but most all come down to biology and human psychology. They're innate, and nothing will ever change it.

    Any effort to correct the fact that there aren't as many competent women to fill XYZ positions in industry will by default mean that incompetent women will be getting put into positions they will not do as well as some man would have. This kind of shit has to end.

  • The Last American Hero||

    So a bunch of companies either appoint some other board member's wife to the board or just start hiring porn stars as diversity hires.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    BJs bonus!

  • Mickey Rat||

    "What does this mean, that I am responsible for 'oral incentives'?"

  • soldiermedic76||

    Only if they film it. Otherwise it's prostitution which is illegal. Because consistency.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If I was dumb enough to have a company located in California still, I would close it up and move just on principle.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, time to overpay someone to make the rest of the board sandwiches or iron their shirts, or pull up stakes and move to Texas.

  • Huh18?||

    What a bunch of horse shit. And I'm pretty sure unconstitutional.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Yes it's unconstitutional.

    I't a violation of 14th Amendment freedom of contract.

  • Longtobefree||

    What's unconstitutional got to do with it?
    Sanctuary cities
    Gun control
    etc

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    This is a terrific idea. Once again California leads the way, showing the rest of the country how social progress should be achieved.

    As a non-binary person, I look forward to the day when corporate boards are compelled by law to include at least one of my fellow they / them pronoun users. However, I realize that might still be a few years away. In the meantime, I will celebrate this feminist victory.

    #LibertariansForQuotas

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Once again, too heavy on the first salvo. You gotta reel them in slowly.

  • Longtobefree||

    (he/she/it/they) need a more powerful server for the bot - - - - - - - - - -

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Since gender cannot be proven, how can this law ever be enforced? Surely you don't mean to imply gender is based on biological sex organs? What's there to celebrate?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Surely you don't mean to imply gender is based on biological sex organs?

    Absolutely not! Only science-denying right-wing bigots believe gender is determined by arbitrary factors like "chromosomes" or "genitalia." We in the reality-based community know all that matters is how a person identifies.

    So with that being said, I'm not sure what your objection is. The fact that some women have penises, beards, and Adam's apples doesn't negate the importance of gender diversity.

    #TransWomenAreWomen

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    So how can you prove there are no women on the board of a company? All you would need is for one of the board members to say "I feel like a woman today."

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Ugh, this is such a tired right-wing talking point.

    "If you allow transgender high school girls to use the bathroom and locker room of their choice, then boys will pretend to be girls just to have an excuse to watch them change clothes and shower!"

    "Pretty soon there will be no more female sports because males pretending to be females will dominate them!"

    "Colleges shouldn't use racial preferences, because white people could just claim to be part Native American!"

    Please. These are bad faith arguments designed to trick people into opposing diversity and inclusion by dreaming up scary hypotheticals.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    All those cases are easily dealt with. Just show the trans person is taking female hormones. Do you think that is a reasonable requirement?

  • Longtobefree||

    No.

  • perlchpr||

    "Pretty soon there will be no more female sports because males pretending to be females will dominate them!"

    Ooooh! I love those videos!

    Watching high school girls give high school trans-girls dirty looks because they just got hella outrun or outlifted is hilarious.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    No these are worthy arguments to demonstrate how fucking stupid progressive positions on diversity and equality have become.

  • Echospinner||

    Diversity and inclusion.

    I don't care.

    The suites and bean counters have a job. Bring in business and maintain an efficient organization where I have an opportunity to succeed. I make the product. You sell it. That is our arrangement.

    If the organization is unfair to gays, women, whomever you are going to lose talent and productivity and lose business. We do not sell any of that. If you lose respect out there you lose business.

    If you do not produce your part of the deal it was nice working with you. The reverse is also true.

    Everyone is their own .com.

  • perlchpr||

    As a transattackhelicopter, I feel left out by this legislation.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    +1 airwolf theme song

  • Dan S.||

    If you have kids, how do they feel about having a helicopter parent?

  • Horatio||

    So what kind of logic would the California legislature use (I know, I know) to counter a satirical but legitimate proposal that all public sewage and waste workers - not office staff, but the real fucking dirty jobs - have equal gender representation by 2021? They can't outright say "we only want to force our way into glamorous jobs", so, putting on your Feminist Turing Test pussyhats on, what would they argue?

  • vek||

    Stuff like that is what shows how shallow, and bullshit their claims about equality are.

    They're trying to get MORE than they deserve via government force, because the truth is women just can't hack it in many areas of life. Men are simply better/more effective at LOTS of things. So says statistics on mental traits etc. Women can't accept this, so they want to simply force inferior people into positions they didn't earn and won't do as well as men who had to be turned down for them. Atlas Shrugged world, here we come!

  • Dillinger||

    chicks still care about this?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Most dont.

    Lefties need to boss someone around and with Trump in office and Congress in firm control by the GOP, this is the bossing they came up with.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Can they literally create a "token" position and then ignore her?

  • Longtobefree||

    It has worked so far

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Not if they're required to have 3/6... Especially if they band together when their periods start syncing

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    what about the other 7998 genders? Fucking sexist/racists.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I hope they keep up the good work and fix the inbalance in gender based purchasing decisions. The imbalance there is equivalent to the balance in Boards of Directors.

  • Bubba Jones||

    What is the legal definition of headquarters?

    My company is headquartered in the UK. I think. No one ever goes there.

  • Jim Logajan||

    The text of the bill doesn't use the term headquarters; it uses this text:
    "...a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices, according to the corporation's SEC 10-K form, are located in California...."
    I can find no guidance on what criteria the contents of the 10-K "Address of principal executive offices" field must meet. I imagine any valid address could do. It is clear to me why they didn't include only corporations incorporated in California - most of their targets are incorporated elsewhere.

    Which leads to one possible BIG problem that occurs to me with this law: because it dictates the contents of board members of corporations that are NOT incorporated in California, it may be found to be invalid. Basically the California law is potentially dictating requirements to corporations formed in any other state, usurping the authority of those states to regulate their corporations.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Wait. Google isn't a public company. It is a subsidiary of alphabet.

    Alphabet can set up shop wherever the hell it wants.

  • CE||

    I thought gender was just a social construct. Why would it matter to corporate governance how you view yourself?

  • Juice||

    Yep. One of the dudes on the board just has to identify as a woman. What's California going to do?

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I am outraged that hamsters with frequently excellent spelling appear to have been *deliberately* excluded from this project. How privileged. How othering. So not diverse.

    I'm boycotting.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I, for one, would never try to fit a hamster in a round hole.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Your dumb ass probably uses a square and a rat.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This is getting pretty erotic.

  • Eric L||

    BOD members come up periodically for election by the shareholders. What happens if there is a group of activist investors that is running a slate of candidates in opposition to the current BOD because they believe that the current board is corrupt or not doing a good job. Think Wells Fargo. After the shareholders vote, the results are that the current women on the board are among those voted out and the new BOD does not meet the quota for woman representation. Is the state of California going to overturn the election of the shareholders?

  • perlchpr||

    Is the state of California going to overturn the election of the shareholders?

    Of course?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yes. Proper gender representation is more important that the will of the shareholders or ethical operation of the company.

  • Ska||

    More likely make elections for specific board seats. Seat 1 is always held by a woman, so the voting slate will never have a male candidate for seat 1.

  • Longtobefree||

    What elections?
    Appointments by state committee to assure diversity is the only way to assure properly constructed boards.

  • Jim Logajan||

    They just want some money:

    "(1) The Secretary of State may adopt regulations to implement this section. The Secretary of State may impose fines for violations of this section as follows:
    (A) For failure to timely file board member information with the Secretary of State pursuant to a regulation adopted pursuant to this paragraph, the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
    (B) For a first violation, the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
    (C) For a second or subsequent violation, the amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000).

    (2) For the purposes of this subdivision, each director seat required by this section to be held by a female, which is not held by a female during at least a portion of a calendar year, shall count as a violation.
    (3) For purposes of this subdivision, a female director having held a seat for at least a portion of the year shall not be a violation."

  • Longtobefree||

    So the loophole is to appoint a woman/women as required, hold a board meeting without taking any votes, and dismiss the women? [(C)(2)&(3)]

  • Jim Logajan||

    Corporate bylaws generally require board member changes to be voted on by the shareholders; there are normally clauses to handle emergency or temporary replacements, but they likely wouldn't work to take advantage of the "loophole." Changing the bylaws to accommodate revolving door membership would have to be approved by the stockholders.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If the corporate headquarters is in a Native American reservation, would it still be covered by the law?

    Asking for a friend.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    That's an interesting question. It a reservation part of the state or considered exempt as federal land?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Seems like the state will fuck over reservation sovereignty whenever the getting feels good. I would hope not though.

  • prolefeed||

    According to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, "On federal Indian reservations, however, only federal and tribal laws apply to members of the tribe, unless Congress provides otherwise."

    Might be an opportunity for people on the rez to rent land to BODs.

  • prolefeed||

    And pass a tribal law saying that members of a Board located on the rez are considered honorary tribe members.

  • Longtobefree||

    Or even dishonorable members

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    If they held their board meetings in full warpaint, I'd invest.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Chief (Executive Officer) Man Who Sits to Pee

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And yeah this is an exceptionally dumb idea.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Why didn't you say this earlier and more emphatically you leftie.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    You anarachist

  • perlchpr||

    Arachnist? Like Spider-Man?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Minanarachist.

    Anarachist only tiny.

  • Morbo||

    Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime.com

    Uh oh. You done fucked up reason! There are black people in that image! I'm told this makes you super racists. Like the Klan and the Nazis had a love child racist.

  • Juice||

    That is the most racist photo credit I've ever seen.

  • Brian||

    "One-fourth of California's publicly traded companies still do not have a single woman on their board, despite numerous independent studies that show companies with women on their board are more profitable and productive," she said in a statement.

    Facepalm.

  • buddhastalin||

    Hannah-Beth Jackson is from the government and she is here to help all you stupid companies that are leaving money on the table by not having a woman on your board.

  • perlchpr||

    Well, those companies are already stupid for not having all female workforces, given that women will apparently work for 80% of what men charge.

  • JrJr||

    Here we go....next it will be that they are required to have a certain number of from all sorts of groups based on their race, religion, ethinicity or sexual orientation....

    WTF? Who comes up with this $#@% ?
    A lawyer bitch thats who...one with a degree in law, government & sociology. Married to a retired court judge.
    Appears that she has always been for an authoritarian gov't from the get go.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah-Beth_Jackson

  • creech||

    Why would these California corporations care? They can now hire all woman boards, pay them 70% of what male directors make, thereby being able to pay larger dividends to their largely male shareholders.

  • buddhastalin||

    You're going to have no dividends to pay out when that all woman board runs the company into the ground.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    "With women... Making over 70 percent of purchasing decisions..."

    Citation needed. Also, I think we should define purchasing decisions.

  • geo1113||

    Should we have asparagus or green beans tonight...decisions...decisions!!!!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Great, I can finally get that pole installed in the board room I've always wanted. Candy Kane will make the meetings so much more fun.

  • Longtobefree||

    I can't wait for the SEC to weigh in on this one.
    Something about fiduciary responsibilities to make money .vs token hires?
    It's going to be another federal (boards gotta make bucks for the shareholders; immigration laws) against state (have to hire women, qualified or not; sanctuary cities) squabble to see who ruins corporations first.

    Didn't some web site recently do a thing about the forced hire of women directors in Europe?
    Something about the same small group of women on all the boards?

    I smell a consulting opportunity to identify the optimum number of board seats to minimize the impact of the forced hires.

  • Longtobefree||

    Found it.
    "According to ISS Analytics, a research arm of ISS, a proxy-advisory firm, 19% of female directors of Europe's STOXX 600 companies—which are predominantly in markets with quotas—sit on at least three boards." (elsewhere they define these women as 'golden skirts')
    "But a study in Norway found the quotas had no effect on the representation of women in senior management in the firms where it applied. The gender pay gap shrunk only for the golden skirts themselves. In Norway just 7% of the largest firms have female bosses. In France, a paltry 2% do—compared with (a still miserable) 5% in quota-free America. And in Germany, women make up just 6% of directors on management boards."
    "When quotas are put on the table, proponents often produce "snapshot" studies showing that companies with more women on their boards have better returns and are less likely to be beset by fraud or shareholder battles. But causation is hard to prove. Perhaps better-managed companies have more scope to promote diversity. Equally, when studies are conducted before and after quotas are imposed, the results in terms of companies' performance are inconclusive. Some studies find positive effects; others the opposite or no effect at all."

  • Sevo||

    "When quotas are put on the table, proponents often produce "snapshot" studies showing that companies with more women on their boards have better returns and are less likely to be beset by fraud or shareholder battles."

    Fraudulent "studies" used to justify tokenism? No!

  • Harvard||

    On the upside, Tony may get a shot at a Board position. The company could kill a number of birds with that one shot.

  • perlchpr||

    The law requires the placement of women on boards, not the brain-dead.

  • Longtobefree||

    Actually, the law does not even specify that the woman has to be alive, or attend any meetings, right?

  • perlchpr||

    There may already be rules disallowing the seating of the dead on a Board of Directors.

  • cc2||

    I do not believe it is legal to do this, but even worse is to dictate to corporations incorporated in another state, which explicitly means their corp is governed by the laws of that other state.

  • Jerry B.||

    Waiting for California to decide that half the players on NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB tames based in the state must be female.

  • Longtobefree||

    Or just that each NFL & NBA team have a token white.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    God bless California for their bold leadership.

    But their work has just begun, and will not really succeed until women are 50% of:

    prison populations
    pro sports teams
    surfers
    outlaw bikers
    dish washers
    used car salespeople
    rodeo clowns
    construction laborers

    and?

  • ||

    coal miners
    oil field hands
    loggers
    fishers
    trash collectors
    ironmongers
    truckers

    sperm donors

  • soldiermedic76||

    Soldiers... I believe, despite decades of females being able to serve, female only make up around 20 % of the military.
    And two years after females were allowed into the combat arms, there are still only a handful that have made it.

  • soldiermedic76||

    *made it into line units.

  • vek||

    This is the crux of the whole thing. Women simply don't have the same desires as men have to do many things, and even of the minority that do, they often aren't as capable. I've read up on the military thing a fair amount, and it is insane how women compare in the physical stats to the men. The best of the best barely make it into the upper 50% of men... AKA they're horribly deficient. Keep in mind this is probably wildly self selected already, as the women that go into the military probably lean more masculine than average. I'm quite sure if you were selecting from the whole female population it would look even worse.

    Men and women aren't equal in all ways... We each have pros and cons, but on almost no traits are we comparable. The sooner we get back to accepting this basic reality the better.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Military physical standards for men and women are different.

    Yet women are supposed to be the same as men.

    If the standard is 25 pushups and men or women candidates cannot do 25 pushups, then no military service for you.

  • vek||

    That's how a sane world would be.

    The thing is, women whine to be allowed to do stuff... Then they aren't up to snuff, so they demand the requirements for EVERYBODY be lowered.

    Look into the college admittance stuff. Basically if you're a white or Asian man, you have to be vastly better in every way to get in versus a minority or woman. With true, objective, and high standards, women just can't compete with men in a LOT of areas.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    The solution is obvious for companies who have an all-male BoD. Every year they randomly pick one man to identify as a woman for a year, and dare the state to fail to recognize their gender identity.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Someone misspelled toking.

  • Eddy||

    "Jones, do you feel like a woman today?"

    "Not particularly, sir I..."

    "Too bad, we need a woman on our board - maybe a trans woman - to comply with California law. I guess I'll go find someone who's more of team player to be the woman..."

    "Wait, boss, suddenly I realized I've been in denial all this time...I actually identify as a woman!"

    "Great, I've already taken the liberty of sending your gender-change paperwork to the DMV, Department of Vital Statistics, etc."

  • DjDiverDan||

    A shareholder's right to vote for the directors of his or her choice is a significant part of the value of the ownership of such shares of stock. By legally restricting the exercise of that voting right, the State of California is expropriating a portion of the economic interest of each of those shareholders, in violation of the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. Somebody needs to start a shareholder class-action case against the State of California to force it to pay just compensation for this public taking of shareholder property rights.

    In defense of California, this law is not quite as thoroughly idiotic as Elizabeth Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act, but then Elizabeth Warren is in a class by herself when it comes to economic idiocy.

  • Two Buck Chuck||

    Companies that sell pet food should have a dog or a cat on the board. Who else would know what a dog or a cat would want out of a pet food?

  • No Yards Penalty||

    How about a man who self-identifies as a woman during corporate board meetings?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Pull hillarys dick out of your mouth.

  • John C. Randolph||

    So, there is a slightly increased cost of doing business. You now need to incorporate a holding company in someplace that isn't overrun with SJWs (Nevada seems convenient), and have it wholly own the business that you want to locate in CA.

    -jcr

  • BigT||

    No, just identify the exec offices as Room 3245 in a hotel there. So easy.

  • wreckinball||

    Blatantly violates the federal CRA

    But as we all know CRAs are written neutral but enforced only one way

    So we'll see. My guess it's OK because the rights violated are male

  • Rock Lobster||

    This is California, no? Just have one of your guys identify as a woman. Easy work-around.

  • SardonicOne||

    "377 of California's largest publicly traded companies, plus many smaller businesses."

    Or, they'll move their "headquarters" to other states, and maintain a strong presence in CA. Brilliant move, CA.

  • damikesc||

    "One-fourth of California's publicly traded companies still do not have a single woman on their board, despite numerous independent studies that show companies with women on their board are more profitable and productive,
  • damikesc||

    Ugh this site.

    If the latter part of her statement was correct, the former one couldn't be.

    Companies don't want to be less profitable to have more dong on their board.

  • Rockabilly||

    I nominate Caitlyn Jenner !

  • Ecoli||

    I see a new income stream for Stormy Daniels, corporate captain.

    Just imagine the tips she can pick up for lap dances at the annual meeting, and the bonus is all that hush money she will get to keep her mouth shut and her subsequent naughty pleasure at telling all of us about it.

  • Eddy||

    Appoint this woman. She's sat on many corporation staffs already.

  • Michael Cook||

    California needs to take this style of thinking to the end of the line. The Assembly should propose:

    (A) Commencing in 2020 all corporate boards should be entirely composed of women, extending until at least 2045. This shall be termed the Affirmative Compensation Period for Historic Injustice Against W(omen.

    (B) During the ACPHIAW phase, at least 40% of the women serving must be non-American citizens and 50% of those must be in the country illegally. In addition, no more than 50% of the member women on any board can be in traditional male/female marriage relationships with someone who has been genetically male since birth.

    (C) Finally, any female who is a member of any organization opposed to an absolute right to abortion on demand shall not be counted as a "woman" for purposes of fulfilling this requirement, nor shall any female who is discovered to support Donald J. Trump, faux POTUS, be so counted, nor shall any female who is a known climate denier.

  • vek||

    Men and women aren't the same. We are not equal in all ways. We each have pros and cons, things one or the other is better at. Every scientific study ever has showed this. There will NEVER be equal representation in all things. The sooner people get over this insanity the sooner we can recreate a sane and functional civilization.

  • Griffin3||

    It's like you never even read Harrison Bergeron.

  • vek||

    I have... And seen the movie... The thing that terrifies me is I think these crazy ultra egalitarian leftists are SO nuts they would ACTUALLY try to make that reality if they could. As I high IQ male I will fight this with every fiber of my body.

  • dpbisme||

    Next, one Black, One Hispanic, NO Asians, and of course everyone on the board will have to be Democrats and follow the PARTY LINE so we can have communism in our time.

  • dpbisme||

    Next, one Black, One Hispanic, NO Asians, and of course everyone on the board will have to be Democrats and follow the PARTY LINE so we can have communism in our time.

  • vek||

    Nah, we don't gotta worry about that. Civilization will collapse before it gets that far, and competent people will take back over.

  • cosMICjester||

    There's something quite odd about the state gov't dictating who is on the boards of private companies. Talk about gov't over reach.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online