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. 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..

  2. 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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