Senators Pass Gender Diversity Resolution – Have They Read Ecclesiazusae?

In late August, the California Senate approved SCR 62 which encourages “equitable and diverse gender representation on corporate boards”.  The resolution also urges:

Within a three-year period from January 2014 to December 2016, inclusive, every publicly held corporation in California with nine or more director seats have a minimum of three women on its board, every publicly held corporation in California with five to eight director seats have a minimum of two women on its board, and every publicly held corporation in California with fewer than five director seats have a minimum of one woman on its board . . . .

The Vagaries of Vagueness

It’s hard to know what exactly the Senate is talking about in this resolution.  For example, constitutes a “corporation in California”?  Does this refer only to corporations incorporated in California (See Corporations Code Section 162)?  Does it also refer to foreign corporations with their principal offices in California or to foreign corporations that are registered with the Secretary of State to transact intrastate business?   What is meant by “director seats”?  Does this refer to the authorized number of directors or the number of directors in office?  What constitutes a publicly held corporation?  Must a publicly held corporation be traded on an exchange?  Is an unlisted corporation subject to the SEC’s reporting requirements, a “publicly held” corporation?  It’s also entirely unclear what would constitute “equitable” gender representation.

Does Dextrality Cause Criminality?

Despite these technical difficulties, the resolution is already attracting some public attention.  The resolution includes several studies that reportedly associate gender diversity with improved performance.  This illustrates one of the most common of logical fallacies: correlation is not causation.  The fact that more criminals are right-handed does not mean that dextrality causes criminality.

The resolution is currently in the Assembly which adjourns at the end of this week.


Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.