California law would mandate female board members for publicly traded companies headquartered in the state

“A controversial new law in California, the first of its kind in the U.S., requires publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to include at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019,” Alexis Keenan reports for Yahoo Finance. “By 2021, California’s law requires boards of six or more to include at least three female members; boards with five members must include at least two female directors; and boards with four or fewer members must include at least one. Fines of $100,000 can be imposed against companies for an initial failure to comply, and as much as $300,000 for subsequent violations.”

“That means companies like Google’s parent Alphabet Inc., as well as Facebook and Apple, will need to boost female-occupied board seats from their current numbers — each has two female directors — to at least three over the next three years,” Keenan reports. “Experts say the measure could be deemed unconstitutional in the United States. The reason: the law singles out or classifies people based on gender, which gives rise to heightened ‘intermediate level’ scrutiny under equal protection laws.”

“In order to pass constitutional muster, California must show that a gender classification serves an important government objective, and that there is no reasonable alternative to the gender classification in order to achieve its legislative goal. That could prove a difficult hurdle considering shareholders already using proposals to take gender diversity matters into their own hands. Similar state challenges are also anticipated,” Keenan reports. “Whether companies, organizations, or individuals bring legal challenges remains to be seen. However, it’s possible that larger companies may simply choose to pay a fine rather than bring the required number fo women to their boards.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Mandated outcomes ≠ equal opportunity.

Classifying people in order to achieve some predetermined “equality” of outcome doesn’t unify, it divides.

Either we’re all just people or we’re not. Sorting people into different bins is, at its heart, sexist and racist.

You cannot impose a quota system without infringing on the rights of those who do not fit your quota’s criteria.


  1. California used to be the state with incredible beauty, great weather and vast natural resources. Now it is the state whose leads the nation in dumb ideas. It is hard to make such a beautiful state one where it’s citizens most pressing goal is exiting, stage right. What a waste.

  2. It’ll be like the African-American kid that got into 200 colleges, every woman who’s ever been a CEO will have 200 California companies clamoring for her to be on their Board. Carly Fiorina will never lack for free lunches and 5-star accommodations.

    1. This from a person who conveniently forgets that identity politics (neo-tribalism) is a tactic that has ALWAYS been used to disenfranchise the minority.

      Remember, your country was founded on the concept that only landholding white men should be educated and therefore qualified to vote. Decades after minorities and women were finally allowed by law to enter the same schools and voting booths, your right wing party today still uses tactics specifically designed to keep them segregated. Gerrymandering, unfair school budgeting, and corporatism are all tools of the rich privileged fat cats toncling to their inherited positions of power.

      Yes quotas are bad. They would not be necessary if ingrained bias by the rich wasn’t a continued tradition in the modern world. But it is. Corporations are the domain of the elite white Davos-attending few, designed to exploit rather than empower the many. Corporations need to be more transparent and responsible to the citizenry instead of an incestuous club of fat old men hellbent on self enrichment.

      If you don’t like California, then go ahead and tell us all why you live there instead of a happy state like Mississippi or Albama?

  3. Sweeeeettttt I LOVE it when California does this stuff – and when will that law end? If after 10 years will we still need this law? 20 Years? No we will never be equal enough until government regulates EVERY part of our lives.

  4. I thought gender didn’t matter? I thought it was an opinion? A state of mind? How do they define “female”? Aren’t they the ones trying to change the definition of gender in the first place? California needs some help, please someone get them some help.

  5. “Either were are all just people or we’re not. Sorting people into different bins is, at its heart, sexist and racist.

    You cannot impose a quota system without infringing on the rights of those who do not fit your quota’s criteria.”

    What utter chauvinist entitlement crap!
    First, 50% of the population are female and given they are affected by, participate in and use companies products and services in equal proportions give_or_take the odd percentile, where is the equality without representation? How do you legitimately voice ‘equality rights’ if the door to the forum of so-called free expression that comes with seniority and board membership, is permanently and artificially closed? That’s dogmatic insanity.
    Gender is not “racist”
    MDN: Its OK to trample on the rights of 50% of the population because it’s always been that way, it still is and will continue that way forever because we – men, have the inalienable right to fashion the world we made in order to preserve our dominance. So there!
    Oh…you also appear to be unaware and hopelessly ignorant of the implicit irony in not being able to pass your own ‘sexist’ test.
    A new low for extraordinary times.

    1. MDN take is one of the best I have ever read on the topic. “Sorting people into different bins is, at its heart, sexist and racist.” Even worse, it LEGISLATIVES DISCRIMINATION and SEXISM! Obvious you will never understand. This utterly ridiculous law infringing on business and the Constitution will be challenged and rIghtly DEFEATED…

    2. “Trample on the rights of 50% of the population?” No one, not men, not women, have the “right” to be on a board of directors. Right now, men and women have the same legal right to be on a board of directors. With the California law, men will no longer have the legal right to be on a board of directors with less than two women. The company is legally required to hire a female over a male. It makes an all male BOD illegal, while an all female BOD perfectly legal. The law could have easily been written gender neutral, every BOD must have at least 20% representation by both genders. But that’s not what the state is trying to legislate. So maybe you mean the 50% having their rights trampled is men?

  6. Taking a page from Justin Trudeau, liberal idiot PM of Canada who made his cabinet 50/50 male female, because for that 50% we don’t need the best person for the job, we need the best woman for the job.

  7. If companies merely pay a fine, over time greedy politicians will ask for more as the state continues to mire itself in the mud. If several large companies decide to leave the state and enough of them finally do, perhaps it will show some politicians to back off, but not holding my breath on that one..

  8. Horrible law. Mandated discrimination based on gender quota. I thought we aren’t supposed to be concerned about or focused on gender identity anymore, that it is a personal preference and not biological. So does it allow for a loophole for someone born a male that now wishes to be considered female?

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