Jackson Urges California Companies To Give More Women a 'Seat at the Table'

December 04, 2014

SACRAMENTO – Today, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management released its annual study of California Women Business Leaders. In response, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), the author of last year's Senate Concurrent Resolution 62, the first-in-the-nation resolution urging more women on corporate boards, released the following statement:
 
“I am pleased that UC Davis has again released this report for 2014, which shines an important spotlight on the presence of women in the board room and in high-level positions in California companies.
 
The good news is that California companies have made progress. The percentage of women serving on boards of directors and holding the highest-paid executive positions in California’s 400 largest public corporations has inched up from last year. Companies with already significant numbers of women leaders have more women in their board rooms. And fewer companies report having no women in top leadership posts.  
 
But progress has been too slow, incremental and unsatisfying. Women hold just 11.5% of the top executive positions and board seats or just one in every nine positions. California is an economic powerhouse, and we have an opportunity to take the lead on this issue. Studies consistently show that having women serve in the board room and in top leadership positions is not only good for women, it’s good for business and the economy.
 
At the same time, I am delighted that companies like Deckers Brands in Goleta, in my Senate district, are once again leading the way and are among the top 25 most gender diverse large public companies in California. I urge more California companies to give women a seat at the table and to make gender diversity a top priority.”
 
SCR 62, authored by Jackson and passed by the Legislature last year, encourages publicly held companies with corporate boards of nine or more to fill at least three of those seats with women within the next three years; for boards with five to eight seats to have a minimum of two women on its board; and boards with fewer than five director seats to have at least one woman on its board.
 
The resolution, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, while encouraging these goals, is non-binding.
 
A copy of the UC Davis report is available here. A copy of SCR 62 is available here.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County. She is chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, a bipartisan group of women legislators who advocate on behalf of women, children, and families in California.
           
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