In another "California leads the nation" moment, on Thursday, September 12, the California State Assembly passed Resolution SCR 62 urging all publicly held corporations over the next three years to add women to their boards of directors. The California Senate approved the resolution on August 26. California is the first state in the US to take a stand on gender diversity in the boardroom and the first state to define boardroom diversity as three women directors with a timeline of three years.
SCR 62 is not a law but it demonstrates the state's commitment to diversifying the boards of California public companies. It urges companies to have a minimum of 3 women directors on every corporate board of 9 members or more by the end of 2016. Boards with 5 to 8 seats should have a minimum of two women, and boards with 4 or fewer seats should have at least one woman.
According to research conducted by UC Davis almost half of the 400 largest publicly held corporations in California have NO women on their boards.
The National Association of Women Business Owners - California (NAWBO-CA) was the sponsoring organization of SCR-62. The resolution's authors included Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara and Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal of Long Beach CA, both Vice Chairs of the California Legislative Women's Caucus.
Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, 2020 Women on Boards/LA Chapter Co-Chair with Renee Fraser, and a board member of NAWBO-CA, worked tirelessly to bring forward this initiative. We encourage 2020 supporters to work with their own state legislators to pass similar resolutions. To get started, find the Women's Caucus (group of women legislators) in your state.