Bernice Ledbetter Authors Opinion Piece on Female Board Representation
Before leaving office, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 826 into law, which required publicly-held corporations in California to have at least one woman on its board of directors by the end of 2019. Women make up half of the U.S. workforce and are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of American families with children. Even with a high representation in the workforce, only 22 percent of directors at Fortune 500 companies are women.
A year after the law was signed into law, an activist group filed a lawsuit to enjoin the California Secretary of State from using taxpayer funds and resources to enforce or implement the law. A Harvard research report shows that board experiences helps more women get CEO jobs and making Fortune 500 boards more diverse and representative of the U.S. labor is necessary for equalizing gender representation. There are several benefits in making institutions and businesses more diverse. One major advantage is it expands views, perspectives and values that then trickle down through the organizations. Read more.