California Corporations Code § 318 has been on the books since 1993, Cal Stats. 1993, c. 508. That section required the Secretary of State to develop and maintain a registry of “distinguished women and minorities” who are available to serve on corporate boards of directors. In 1999, the Secretary of State transferred this responsibility to California State University, Fullerton which maintained the registry until 2003 when the registry was discontinued.
Recently, Assembly Member V. Manuel Perez has introduced a bill, AB 1255, that would require the Secretary of State, to the extent that registries of director candidates are known and available, to provide corporations with information regarding the registries of potentially qualified candidates for corporate directorships. The bill would authorize the Secretary of State to collaborate with CalPERS, CalSTRS, the Council of Institutional Investors, other “corporate governance associations”, the Commission on the Status of Women and other “women-focused organizations”, minority organizations, business and professional organizations, and any other individual or entity the Secretary of State deems appropriate. The bill also includes some legislative findings regarding diversity on corporate boards.
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