Jackson Bill to Make California the First state to Require Woman on Corporate Boards Passes Off Senate Floor

Senate Bill 826 would require publicly held corporations to have one woman by 2019 and two or more after that

CalifiorniaSenateSealSACRAMENTO—Legislation authored by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins

(D-San Diego) to require gender diversity on corporate boards passed off the Senate Floor today. SB 826 is a California Legislative Women’s Caucus priority.


 Senate Bill 826 promotes equitable and diverse gender representation on corporate boards by requiring every publicly-held corporation in California to have a minimum of one woman on its board of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of July 2021, the bill would require a minimum of two women on boards with five members and at least three women on boards with six or more. California would be the first state in the nation with such a requirement.

“Over 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 of Directors are more profitable and productive,” said Senator Jackson. “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. The time has come for California to bring gender equity to our corporate boards.”

“I commend Senator Jackson for her continued diligence on this issue. Representation of women on corporate boards is critical and ensures a more thorough understanding and vetting of issues that impact the everyday life of the people of California,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins.

Research has shown that gender diversity on corporate boards is associated with increased profitability, performance, governance, innovation, and opportunity. Yet, one-fourth of California’s publicly-held corporations have no women directors on their boards. In this respect, California’s corporations are falling behind their global competitors with only 15.5% of board seats held by women, lower than the Fortune 1000 list at 19.8%.

A number of European nations have mandated gender diversity on corporate boards. In 2003, Norway mandated that 40% of corporate board seats be held by women, which was followed by France and other European countries. In 2015, Germany mandated that 30% of corporate board seats be held by women. As the 5th largest economy in the world, California is well-positioned to take the lead on promoting gender equity in the workplace.

"Public corporations make business decisions every day that affect our economy and employees. Adding women board members to our public corporations will help advance family-friendly policies in the workplace and bring California one step closer to gender equity. We are grateful to Senators Hannah-Beth Jackson and Toni Atkins for leading this historic effort,” said Anne Staines of Sacramento, Statewide President of the National Association of Women Business Owners, California and SB 826 sponsor.

SB 826 now moves to the Assembly.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

Contact: Marly Young (916) 651-4019 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

...we find that banks with more gender diversity on their board perform better once the composition of these boards reaches a critical level of gender diversity, corresponding to a board female share of around 13-17 percent.

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