Jackson Applauds California Companies for Adding Women to their Boards

March 03, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Citing a report released by the California Secretary of State, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), author of the groundbreaking law that requires gender diversity on California’s corporate boards, applauded the more than 100 corporations that have added women to their boards since the law was enacted. According to the Secretary of State’s report, 109 corporations added women to their boards since the data was last collected in July 2019. In the most recent report, 282 corporations include women on their boards, compared with 173 just last July.

SB 826, the first law of its kind in the country, requires every publicly held corporation in California to have a minimum of one woman on its board of directors by the end of 2019; two or more by 2021 for boards of five; and three women by 2021 for boards of six or more. Companies out of compliance with SB 826 face a fine of $100,000 for the first violation, and $300,000 for a second or subsequent violation. The Secretary of State’s office is responsible for enforcement.

“I am thrilled to see the impact Senate Bill 826 has had on gender equality in the corporate boardroom and beyond. With more companies adding women to their boards, we are finally seeing qualified women gain a seat at the table. This is great news for women, for the companies that benefit from their particular insights, their employees, consumers, and the economy at large,” said Senator Jackson, author of Senate Bill 826. “Those out of compliance with SB 826 need to ask themselves why they continue to shut women out of the boardroom despite overwhelming evidence that companies with women on their boards perform better and are more profitable than those without.”

SB 826’s impacts extend far beyond the state’s borders. The law sparked a national conversation about the benefits of diverse corporate boards and inspired legislation in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon announced that the investment bank would not help companies go public without at least one diverse board member, citing evidence that public companies with at least one female director performed better than those without. In addition, last July it was reported that every S & P 500 company has had at least one woman board member following the passage of this legislation.

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