Women On Boards: Are Bay Area Companies In Compliance With New Law?

By Levi Sumagaysay
The Mercury News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Of California’s 457 publicly traded companies, 97, or 21 percent, have no women on their boards, according to an analysis by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services.

The Mercury News

Apple, Alphabet, Facebook and Tesla each will need to add one more woman to its board of directors by 2021 under a first-in-the-nation law just signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown, but some other well-known companies in the state have a lot more work to do than that.

The law requires a publicly held company to have one woman on the board by 2019.

By 2021, boards with five members must have at least two women, and boards with six members or more must have at least three women.

Many of Silicon Valley’s largest companies, which have long faced pressure to diversify their workplaces, leadership and governance, have at least one woman on their boards.

But many other companies in the Bay Area and state have some catching up to do to make sure they’re complying with the law in three years.

Of California’s 457 publicly traded companies, 97, or 21 percent, have no women on their boards, according to an analysis by proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, which used data from the companies’ most recent filings.

“What’s interesting to us is the small proportion of subject companies that currently complies,” said John Roe, managing director and head of ISS Analytics at ISS, on Friday, referring to the 2021 requirement. “Less than half of the large-cap S&P 500 companies comply – and it gets worse from there.

Overall, fewer than a quarter of S&P 1500 companies – and only about 15 percent of Russell 3000 companies – has at least three women on the board.” Of companies on the Nasdaq, the tech-heavy stock index, Roe said only 9 percent of California companies meet the 2021 requirement.

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