California Becomes First State to Mandate Female Board Directors (WSJ)

#52
I can't get behind this idea.
It should be merit based, everything should be merit based god damn it. Not race, not gender and not visual appearance. But our world is so broken, we are putting these quick fixes around. But it does not solve the real issue of inequality.
In a world where we all look the same, sure.



However, this is how it always starts. First you have to force the issue, and once it becomes more common, then it'll be more natural.

Desegregation involved laws. Affirmative action involves laws. This woman had to sue for admission into a college.... and look at how the female enrollment/graduation rate shot up after.

Sometimes this is all you need.
 
#53
Good idea. They should also make it so if you're board of director's reside and operate mainly within California then that's where their company is from and pays taxes. Shouldn't be able to be from Delaware but everything is done in California. Also, if your business is primarily American then you pay American taxes so you can't hide in Ireland.
 
#56
Why is it unconstitutional?
Gender discrimination. You would be discriminating solely on the basis of gender which violates the US constitution and likely violates the CA state constitution.

Edit: Gender Quotas would have to overcome EPC and First Amendment.
 
Last edited:
#58
How many companies don't already have 1? I would assume it's a very small percentage at this point, especially when so many boards have 15-20 members. I like the intent but have a hard time seeing it pass federal court challenges
Tons dont. Especially in tech.

Despite the sentiment behind the law, quotas are not the right way to promote diversity and inclusion.
 
#59
Gender discrimination. You would be discriminating solely on the basis of gender which violates the US constitution and likely violates the CA state constitution.

Edit: Gender Quotas would have to overcome EPC and First Amendment.
It is an act whose goal is to fix a system that exists in its current form because of a lifetime of unconstitutional behavior. Acknowledging that women are actively being refused jobs for their gender and working to correct that is the appropriate thing to do. Also, the only reasonable way that they get fined is if they refuse to hire women or because there just happen to be zero women qualified for the position.

The second one isn't a thing, by the way.
 
#60
It is an act whose goal is to fix a system that exists in its current form because of a lifetime of unconstitutional behavior. Acknowledging that women are actively being refused jobs for their gender and working to correct that is the appropriate thing to do. Also, the only reasonable way that they get fined is if they refuse to hire women or because there just happen to be zero women qualified for the position.

The second one isn't a thing, by the way.
What isn’t a thing?
 
#61
Serious question for all of the people decrying an initiative to fix the issue of sexist hiring practices. If this is not the solution, what is? Because the solution should not and indeed cannot be "leave it be."



This wouldn't result in unqualified women in positions of power. This is a conservative myth about affirmative action programs.
Yeah, if you can’t find any qualified women for a position like that, then there are some deeply problematic issues going on that need to be addressed anyways
 
#62
I don't know if I agree with this. It sounds like a good idea on paper, but I can't help but feel as though what you're going to get is the minimum requirement of female representation and at that in many cases it'll just be a woman who is "one of the boys" so to speak.

I personally feel as though lawmakers are coming from the right place, but perhaps it isn't the best solution. I mean, what about other groups of people? Are we going to mandate a black member of the board? What about Latinos?

Please don't take what I am saying the wrong way. I don't want women excluded from positions of leadership because of their sex (that should never happen), I am only throwing this out there.
 
#63
I like the idea. At the very least it forces creation of opportunity. More women on boards means more women with suitable experience on boards. It is a bit heavy handed legally, but I don't give a shit about investor rights.
 
#64
Yeah I don't think I can get behind this. I get what they're trying to do, but to me credentials and experience should always win out over any kind of bias. The best person for the job should be hired.
The people that are the best for the job don't get the jobs, life is just unfair and a mess and that's why we are where we are.

Not doing anything will just keep the status quo as it is, with white old men in charge of everything.

Also I want minorities in every damn board before making fucking decisions.
 
#65
I don't know if I agree with this. It sounds like a good idea on paper, but I can't help but feel as though what you're going to get is the minimum requirement of female representation and at that in many cases it'll just be a woman who is "one of the boys" so to speak.

I personally feel as though lawmakers are coming from the right place, but perhaps it isn't the best solution. I mean, what about other groups of people? Are we going to mandate a black member of the board? What about Latinos?

Please don't take what I am saying the wrong way. I don't want women excluded from positions of leadership because of their sex (that should never happen), I am only throwing this out there.
Having the bare minimum required by law is still way better than zero, and it puts women in positions where they can enact further change by being in a position of power
 
#66
Serious question for all of the people decrying an initiative to fix the issue of sexist hiring practices. If this is not the solution, what is? Because the solution should not and indeed cannot be "leave it be."
This seems like a poor way of looking at it. There are plenty of problems that have bad solutions that are solutions nevertheless. Giving women board seats solely because of their gender is a solution to the problem, but it is not a good solution. That being said, I do not know what a good solution would be, and I acknowledge that "leave it be" is not a solution.
 
#68
The people that are the best for the job don't get the jobs, life is just unfair and a mess and that's why we are where we are.

Not doing anything will just keep the status quo as it is, with white old men in charge of everything.

Also I want minorities in every damn board before making fucking decisions.
The sad truth is that I feel like most positions beyond maybe an initial screening the difference in how qualified a candidate is is often pretty inconsequential in most hirings. Also there’s the issue that certain groups have an easier time getting positions regardless of experience which then gives Then way more oppprtunities to gain experience in the first place
 
#69
This seems like a poor way of looking at it. There are plenty of problems that have bad solutions that are solutions nevertheless. Giving women board seats solely because of their gender is a solution to the problem, but it is not a good solution. That being said, I do not know what a good solution would be, and I acknowledge that "leave it be" is not a solution.
The thing is it’s not like they pick a random woman for the position even with these requirements. Nobody would be getting a board seat solely due to gender with these laws, but without them they sure as hell are being denied positions for that reason
 
#70
The people that are the best for the job don't get the jobs, life is just unfair and a mess and that's why we are where we are.

Not doing anything will just keep the status quo as it is, with white old men in charge of everything.

Also I want minorities in every damn board before making fucking decisions.
I agree that something definately needs to be done, I just don't think this is the way to do it as I think it'll just breed resentment between other board members. It's true that life is unfair, especially to women and minorities, but I don't think a great solution to that problem is to enact laws that just push that unfairness onto another group.
 
#71
Serious question for all of the people decrying an initiative to fix the issue of sexist hiring practices. If this is not the solution, what is? Because the solution should not and indeed cannot be "leave it be."
I don't think having an alternate plan that withstands judicial scrutiny should be a requirement for stating an opinion on this; that's a high bar. That said, I think there would be less resistance to the idea of having corporate boards reflect the demographics of the company. The classic "women don't want to work in tech" problem means that promoting internally to board positions would force companies to choose from a small pool of candidates with potentially bad results. At least if only 2 out of every 10 employees are female and 2 out of 10 board members are female then the Electoral College-esque inflationary effect would be neutralized.

I'm sure that idea is fraught with its own problems, just trying to spitball.
 
#72
I agree that something definately needs to be done, I just don't think this is the way to do it as I think it'll just breed resentment between other board members. It's true that life is unfair, especially to women and minorities, but I don't think a great solution to that problem is to enact laws that just push that unfairness onto another group.
But it’s not unfair to men? If we come in with the assumption that men and women are equally capable of doing a given job, than roughly half of the best candidates should always be women because talent would be spread even between all groups. And since the law requires at best a slightly less than 50% it literally will never underrepresent men. Now if you really wanted talent to win and there was a super qualified man with 1 open position on the board and not enough women, i’d Argue a better solution would be to replace 1 of the current male board members who isn’t doing a good enough job, not complain that a slightly less qualified woman got the job
 
#73
I can't get behind this idea.
It should be merit based, everything should be merit based god damn it. Not race, not gender and not visual appearance. But our world is so broken, we are putting these quick fixes around. But it does not solve the real issue of inequality.
It’s not even merit based as it is. It’s connections based. The game is already rigged for the straight white male.
 
#74
I don't think having an alternate plan that withstands judicial scrutiny should be a requirement for stating an opinion on this; that's a high bar. That said, I think there would be less resistance to the idea of having corporate boards reflect the demographics of the company. The classic "women don't want to work in tech" problem means that promoting internally to board positions would force companies to choose from a small pool of candidates with potentially bad results. At least if only 2 out of every 10 employees are female and 2 out of 10 board members are female then the Electoral College-esque inflationary effect would be neutralized.

I'm sure that idea is fraught with its own problems, just trying to spitball.
As an engineering student, i don’t think we can ever overcome the problem of underrepresentation of women in tech if we don’t forcibly inflate the number of women in good tech positions to create a better culture for them. That said i’m Not sure this is even relevant here since hiring internally isn’t necessary and I don’t feel like most board members would be coming directly from a tech position anyways
 
#75
I can't get behind this idea.
It should be merit based, everything should be merit based god damn it. Not race, not gender and not visual appearance. But our world is so broken, we are putting these quick fixes around. But it does not solve the real issue of inequality.
Okay let's hear your plan which will help gender and race representation in the next 2 generations while the people alive today get to live with their systematic oppressions.
 
#77
But it’s not unfair to men? If we come in with the assumption that men and women are equally capable of doing a given job, than roughly half of the best candidates should always be women because talent would be spread even between all groups. And since the law requires at best a slightly less than 50% it literally will never underrepresent men. Now if you really wanted talent to win and there was a super qualified man with 1 open position on the board and not enough women, i’d Argue a better solution would be to replace 1 of the current male board members who isn’t doing a good enough job, not complain that a slightly less qualified woman got the job
That 50/50 ratio only works when a company has that ratio of men and women all the way through though. As stated by the guy above there are fields totally dominated by men such as computer science/tech and many types of engineering. If this law is implemented it would mean that companies in these fields would have to draw from a much narrower group of women with the proper credentials as compared to men. This is where the resentment would set it. When you have a guy who has 5 times the competition that a woman has to get a promotion, only due to the fact that he's a man you could see why he might be a little upset about that.

Its a very complicated problem that must be dealt with from the ground up in my opinion.
 
#79
That 50/50 ratio only works when a company has that ratio of men and women all the way through though. As stated by the guy above there are fields totally dominated by men such as computer science/tech and many types of engineering. If this law is implemented it would mean that companies in these fields would have to draw from a much narrower group of women with the proper credentials as compared to men. This is where the resentment would set it. When you have a guy who has 5 times the competition that a woman has to get a promotion, only due to the fact that he's a man you could see why he might be a little upset about that.

Its a very complicated problem that must be dealt with from the ground up in my opinion.
Sure but in most cases the reason this is true because hiring policy is unfair from the start and work cultures are hostile to the underrepresented group, so i’d Argue in these cases it’d be even more helpful in fighting discrimination since it would encourage companies to be more active in changing the underlying culture that prevents qualified people from working at their company in order to get a better field of candidates. And regardless at best this would produce a mandatory 40% for companies with only 5 directors, and diversity is proven to be helpful in improving quality so i’d Argue that being an underrepresented group is inherently a merit in it own right
 
#81
DINGDINGDING we have a winner! Everyone imagining that these positions are related to merit... lmao.
yeah, I feel like in most jobs in general merit only gets you past an initial screening and culling of candidates. Past that it's about what connections you have or how good you are at bullshitting and appealing to interviewers if you lack those
 
#82
Meritocracies do not exist. Women and minorities have known this for a long time. You will never get companies to change and start hiring more women or minorities without literally forcing them to.
 
#84
I'm pretty liberal but this doesn't seem right. Forced inclusion is a bad idea
To an extent it is, but history has proven that when there is a high level of exclusion, you literally can't get inclusion without forcing it. Hence why for example many schools in the northern united states are still incredibly segregated despite no explicitly discriminatory laws. When humans see a group as part of "the others", they will pretty much always as a whole intentionally act in favor of segregation, not inclusion
 
#85
It’s not even merit based as it is. It’s connections based. The game is already rigged for the straight white male.
Connections are assets, just as track record and individual performance are assets. The former more highly valued in corporate governance.

The bigger issue is how to break in those networks. The PayPal mafia were all white males for example. And their influence is crazy.

The question is not just about qualifications, but what is being measured to be a serious candidate. Women and POC are going to lose out using the criteria currently used.
 
#86
Connections are assets, just as track record and individual performance are assets. The former more highly valued in corporate governance.

The bigger issue is how to break in those networks. The PayPal mafia were all white males for example. And their influence is crazy.

The question is not just about qualifications, but what is being measured to be a serious candidate. Women and POC are going to lose out using the criteria currently used.
Correct. There are at least two additional factors at play on top of what you mentioned; 1)Historically board members have business experience (typically ran a business or were in-house GC) and 2)the tech bros view themselves as a disruptive force thus typically forming boards with folks who are part of the clique. So either way you will find it tough to break in.
 
#87
Connections are assets, just as track record and individual performance are assets. The former more highly valued in corporate governance.

The bigger issue is how to break in those networks. The PayPal mafia were all white males for example. And their influence is crazy.

The question is not just about qualifications, but what is being measured to be a serious candidate. Women and POC are going to lose out using the criteria currently used.
Based on my personal experiences, breaking into those networks on its own includes a good dose of sexism. I might be bi, but I'm still not a fan of playing hot-or-not (of course only about women) with people I'm forced to network with.
 
#88
Sure but in most cases the reason this is true because hiring policy is unfair from the start and work cultures are hostile to the underrepresented group, so i’d Argue in these cases it’d be even more helpful in fighting discrimination since it would encourage companies to be more active in changing the underlying culture that prevents qualified people from working at their company in order to get a better field of candidates. And regardless at best this would produce a mandatory 40% for companies with only 5 directors, and diversity is proven to be helpful in improving quality so i’d Argue that being an underrepresented group is inherently a merit in it own right
I think you give way too much credit to companies doing the right thing. I don't see any reason why a company would start fixing their culture just because women now have to be hired for board positions, especially if they are still out numbered. Again I think the only thing it would accomplish would be bitterness and resentment between the members themselves and the employees.

In my opinion you need to fix the toxic environment from the lowest level and then let things proceed organically. It will take longer for sure but in the end I think it will work much better at creating a safe and fair work environment for every one.
 
#90
Terrible idea and likely unconstitutional. Government mandated, heavy handed virtue signaling doesn't solve anything, and it wouldn't take much thinking to think of some pretty odious ways this can be abused.
 
#91
This seems like a poor way of looking at it. There are plenty of problems that have bad solutions that are solutions nevertheless. Giving women board seats solely because of their gender is a solution to the problem, but it is not a good solution. That being said, I do not know what a good solution would be, and I acknowledge that "leave it be" is not a solution.
Women aren't going to get positions solely because of their gender.
 
#92
Most board positions are appointed by invitation and numbers are not limited.

The notion that this mandate would result in unqualified women sitting on boards over qualified men is ridiculous.
 
#93
Most board positions are appointed by invitation and numbers are not limited.

The notion that this mandate would result in unqualified women sitting on boards over qualified men is ridiculous.
But then you need to question why women just as qualified as men aren't getting these positions then read up on how these kinds of policy result in improvements to non-enforced inclusion and that can't possibly be true!
 
Top