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Changes Ahead for Boards In New York
New York Enacts "Women on Corporate Boards Study"
The trend to evaluate board composition and report statistics about gender representation continues.
On 12/30/2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation -- Bill S4278 - requiring the New York State Deparment of State and the Departmetn of Taxation and FInance to conduct a study of the proportional amount of female board directors of all domestic and foreign corporations with licenses to do business in New York.
This "Women on Corporate Boards Study" law requires corporations to report the number of directors on their boards as well as how many are women.
The law, which takes effect on June 27, 2020, obliges companies to include this information in their filings every other year to the secretary of state, required by Section 408 of the Business Corporate Law.
The state will issue reports – the first of which will be published by February 1, 2022 -- to make public the data about the composition of boards, including such data as:
-- the number of female directors,
-- the total number of direction on the board of
-- analysis of historical changes in counts of
female directors from prior years;
-- percentages of female directors on total boards.
The reports will be issued every four years to identify and make transparent diversity in board composition.
Cuomo noted in his new release:
From new pay equity laws to strongest-in-the-nation sexual harassment policies, New York is leading the fight for gender equality in the workplace — but our work won't be done until women are better represented at the highest levels of organizations. This new study will help shed light on the problem and guide the development of new policies to ensure more women have a seat at the proverbial table."
We say "it takes three examples to define a trend." Since New York now follows similar mandates by Maryland and Illinois which require corporations to report data on board membership and composition designed to encourage gender parity, the trend is here for 2020 and the future.
Companies doing business in New York are wise to both evaluate thier board composition and prepare for new reporting submission.
All companies in the U.S. should be on the watch for legislative changes along the same lines in all other states in the future. This trend to support diversity is global and will need director consideration.
If your company seeks qualified women directors, contact us about our Board Bona Fide global registry of board candidates. We screen, vet and certify professionals for board service and have a robust asembly of highly prepared women within our registry for your consideration.
You are also welcome to join the registry if you have an interest in new board opportunities.
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