California may soon mandate under threat of financial penalty that every public company include at least one woman on its board.
State legislators passed a bill Wednesday that would require publicly-traded companies headquartered in California to place at least one woman on their board by the end of next year — or face a penalty.
The bill, SB-826, states point-blank:
This bill, no later than the close of the 2019 calendar year, would require a domestic general corporation or foreign corporation that is a publicly held corporation, as defined, whose principal executive offices, according to the corporation’s SEC 10-K form, are located in California to have a minimum of one female, as defined, on its board of directors, as specified.
No later than the close of the 2021 calendar year, the bill would increase that required minimum number to 2 female directors if the corporation has 5 directors or to 3 female directors if the corporation has 6 or more directors.
"The bill would also authorize the Secretary of State to impose fines for violations of the bill, as specified, and would provide that moneys from these fines are to be available, upon appropriation, to offset the cost of administering the bill," the draft continues -- assuming, of course, that it's signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.
If he does, California would become the first state in the U.S. to throw down such a mandate.
California state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, who supported the bill, told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that "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."
"With women comprising over half the population and making over 70% of purchasing decisions, their insight is critical to discussions and decisions that affect corporate culture, actions and profitability,” he claimed.
So, naturally, it then becomes the government’s job to force businesses to embrace this little estrogen boost – for their own good, of course.
Of course, opponents rightly argue that such a mandate could easily end up forcing companies to appointing a less-than-qualified woman above a much more qualified man simply to fill the government's quota and avoid getting fined. But apparently, the idea that a guy could get passed over simply for the sake of "diversity" doesn't matter much to the bill's supporters, who argue having a woman on a board is somehow more beneficial...well, just because.
And shockingly, some proponents of the bill are even suggesting it doesn’t go far enough, comparing it to some countries like Norway, which actually mandates company boards be comprised of at least 40 percent women.
"One is definitely not enough," Vicki W. Kramer, lead author of a prominent 2006 study on the effect of women on company boards, told CNN. "But at least with companies that have none, to at least just get one — and then let's go from there. But one is not enough. One is a token.”
At least Kramer’s right about one thing: for the power-hungry government, it will never be enough.