California Requires Female Board Members

By: Abby Clack

“A law mandating that every public company in the state should have a woman on the board by the end of the year has redefined the qualifications of a director,” says Alisha Haridasani Gupta, the writer of “California Companies Are Rushing to Find Female Board Members” for the New York Times.

In September of 2018, California became the first state to legally require one female director in a corporate board by the end of 2019. If that is not followed, there is a one-time fee of $100,000.

But, in 2021 there will be a new law that states every board of five has to have at least two women and failure to follow will result in a $300,000 fine.

This has created a great bit of controversy, as to be expected. “Two lawsuits filed this year argue that the law is unconstitutional because it ‘seeks to force shareholders to perpetuate sex-based discrimination,’ according to one of the plaintiffs…” Gupta states in the article.

Most companies haven’t added a new female board member, and with 2019 almost over, big companies have less time to find a fit. Some say it’s about the money, “The average director pay for all California firms hovers around $181,000 (nearly double the $100,000 fine)…” Gupta adds.

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