California diversity law forces companies to place at least two directors from racial or sexual minorities on their boards

Under a first-in-the-nation diversity bill signed into law Wednesday by California Governor Gavin Newsom, California-based companies must have directors from racial or sexual minorities on their boards.

Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park in Cupertino, California

Associated Press:

The diversity legislation is similar to a 2018 measure that required boardrooms to have at least one female director by 2019. Like that measure, it could face court challenges from conservative groups who view it as a discriminatory quota.

By the end of 2021, the more than 660 public corporations with California headquarters must have at least one board director from an “underrepresented community,” according to the measure.

Those who qualify would self-identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native, or as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

The measure requires at least two such directors by the end of 2022 on boards with four to nine directors. Three directors are required for boards with nine or more directors. Firms that don’t comply would face fines of $100,00 for first violations and $300,000 for repeated violations.

California commissioner of corporations Keith Bishop… objected that that bill, coupled with the existing diversity law, would make it more desirable for corporations to pick women who also are members of the underrepresented communities to simultaneously meet both sets of quotas, to the detriment of men or women who do not meet the qualifications in the new bill.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Board of Directors is currently comprised of seven members: Chairman of the Board, Arthur D. Levinson, and Board members James A. Bell, Tim Cook, Albert A. Gore Jr., Andrea Jung, Ronald D. Sugar, and Susan L. Wagner.

Since we’re now being forced to account for their skin color and/or gender, here are their photos:

Apple Board of Directors (left to right) Arthur D. Levinson, James A. Bell, Tim Cook, Albert A. Gore Jr., Andrea Jung, Ronald D. Sugar, and Susan L. Wagner
Apple Board of Directors (left to right) Arthur D. Levinson, James A. Bell, Tim Cook, Albert A. Gore Jr., Andrea Jung, Ronald D. Sugar, and Susan L. Wagner

Apple’s official racial, gender, and sexual orientation tally (as best we can calculate): Three (3) white assumed straight guys (don’t count), one (1) white gay guy (officially self-identified, 1 point), one (1) assumed straight black guy (no info on sexual orientation info available, however he is married to a woman who seems to identify as a woman and has two children, so he’s worth 1 point), one (1) assumed straight asian woman (no info on sexual orientation info available, however she was married to a man who seemed to identify as a man and has two children, so she’s a twofer), and one (1) woman (no info on sexual orientation info available, however she is married to a man who seems to identify as a man and has three children, so 1 point there, too.

Total points for Apple’s BoD (2 points now required under California law): 5 (1 for gay, 1 for black, 2 for asian / woman, and another 1 for woman).

Verdict: Apple’s Board is currently comfortably legal in California under this new diversity law.

Diversity is good, but getting the absolute best would seem to be the better goal. Forced diversity carries its own set of problems. Would the group be comprised of the best-qualifed people possible or would it be designed to hit pre-defined quotas? Would some members of the board, consciously or unconsciously, consider certain members, or even themselves, to be tokens meant to fill a quota?

This could also work in Apple’s and other company’s favor. Truly looking at qualified people from a larger pool could result in delivering different viewpoints and new ways of looking at things and tackling problems than a more homogenized BoD would be capable of delivering.

Regardless and of course, someday it would be nice for everyone to just be able to look at a group and only see people, not skin color and/or gender.MacDailyNews, January 9, 2014

46 Comments

  1. Apple could grow the board to 9 and have eight straight white guys and Andrea could just identify as bisexual and the company would be all set. No fines!

    California legislators and governor are so smart.

    1. Experience begets expertise.

      It’s possible there could be some board appointments of slightly lesser-qualified directors arising from this legislation, but no one is going to trust their company to an idiot of any skin color.

      For everyone who’s said there aren’t enough qualified minorities for boards, whether or not boards are expanded to include a couple more directors this approach is guaranteed to generate tens of thousands of person-years of board experience.

    2. No. Racism is singling out race for degrading, demeaning, and destructive reasons. Singling out race to benefit that race or to reduce racial disparity is not racism.

      1. Take it either way….

        Any race benefitting at the expense of another race, is racism.
        There’s a special deceptiveness to think one is doing well when the above is in action.

        There are many examples, but one clear-cut example is the unfair treatment of Asians at many of the premier Edu Institutions.

      2. WRONG!
        When you disqualify someone because of their race, you are discriminating. That is racist.
        That’s what happens when you decide to choose a particular race — even if you think it is to benefit that race.

  2. Racism: Defining people by the color of their skin.
    Sexism: Defining people by their gender.
    Sexualism: Defining people by their sexual orientation.

    California’s legislature and governor are, by definition, racists, sexists, and sexualists.

    Those of us who’d like to live up to Dr. Martin Luther King’s words below are prevented, by law, from doing so by Democrats.

    I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. — Dr. Martin Luther King

    We should see people as people and not judge them based on skin color, gender, and/or sexual orientation.

    Democrats prevent us from doing so and instead legislate and otherwise sow division (note how “racist” is basically every other word out of the mouths of Democrat politicians) because division prompts votes for those like Gavin Newsom who look like they’re “doing something” when they’re actually the ones causing the problems.

      1. Watch that video and the others like it while you can. Once fscking Google figures out its on their platform they’ll disappear it. Twitter will shadow ban any tweets with it. Facebook will ban it. They can’t allow that sort of honesty to be expressed, especially by someone so appealing.

  3. “Three (3) white assumed straight guys (don’t count)…”

    That’s why, in a nutshell, this law is racist, sexist, and sexualist.

    1. On the other hand, having a board that is 100% composed of non-Hispanic straight White males in a state where that group includes fewer than 15% of the population isn’t racist, sexist, or sexualist at all.

      1. It doesn’t matter what they look like, what genitals they have, or how/with whom they use them (as long as they’re of legal age).

        Only Democrats and others of your ilk are constantly demanding that what skin color people have, what genitals people have, and with whom they use said genitals is of the utmost importance.

        Give it a rest. We’re sick of your inherent racism and your sick need to tell everyone else they’re racists when they’re not.

        1. So it is purely coincidental that 15% of the population has almost all of the top jobs? If you believe that, you must be ecstatic at this week’s Executive Order that purports to forbid companies that contract with the federal government from conducting diversity training for their own employees. As the “good people” said in Charlottesville, “Blood and soil! You will not replace us!”

          1. The Hyperbolic Conflator rides again…

            You’ve gone from challenging notions of equality (racial quotas/diversity training) to the dumbasses in Charlottesville.

            It just sounds like the “lawlessness of Somalia” to you I bet?

            1. If you actually read the Executive Order, it does not just ban Critical Race Theory. It essentially prohibits any discussion of unconscious bias. That is like saying it is Ok to teach arithmetic but not long division. Contractors who have billion-dollar contracts at risk are going to drop any meaningful diversity training like a hot rock.

              That, in turn, will leave the guys who do the hiring and firing at those companies free to hire guys just like themselves, eliminating the possibility that women or minorities will replace the “very nice” young men holding Tiki Torches. Since it is apparently US Government policy that unconscious bias isn’t real, the 85% of the population suffering from it will have no remedy.

              That fundamentally turns the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment that underlies it into dead letters—the interesting twist being that the laws that were written to protect minorities have increasingly shifted with demographic change to protect the majority from oppression by a shrinking minority. Again, the protected classes in California include over 85% of the population,

      2. “On the other hand, having a board that is 100% composed of non-Hispanic straight White males in a state where that group includes fewer than 15% of the population isn’t racist, sexist, or sexualist at all.’

        You need to use more nouns! No one knows what the hell you are talking about.

        1. Ok, let me try to make it clear. California already requires publicly-held corporations headquartered in the state to have one female director. The law was adopted because the majority of those 660 corporations had previously had all-male boards, although 51% of California’s population over 21 is female. The disparity was so extreme as to suggest that qualified women were being rejected on the basis of sex… which is illegal under both state and federal law. Forcing companies to appoint one woman for a board to balance six to eight men hardly seemed like a major burden. Doing so meant that somebody at the top would be aware of issues affecting the company’s female employees and customers.

          However, that left another bigger disparity. Even with the addition of a woman, the majority of the boards were entirely composed of White non-Hispanic heterosexuals. In California, that group includes only about 35% of the population (of whom less than half are the males who formerly had 100% of most boards). Again, it is hard to explain a disparity that extreme without the hypothesis of bias.

          So, California is now requiring that at least a small minority of each board come from the other 65% of the population. The law is drafted so that a woman from an underrepresented group counts towards both requirements, so you could have a nine-person board with one member from roughly 85% of the population and eight from the favored 15%. With that big a population to draw on, it should not be hard to find qualified appointees.

          California is ahead of the rest of the nation with this demographic shift, but Texas is not far behind, and the rest of the country is getting there. As a study by the Republican Party in 2012 warned, failure to take it into account is going to hand political control of the United States to the Democrats for decades to come. Trumpism is the Last Harrah for white ethnic supremacy.

  4. “self-identify as Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native, or as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

    So it’s up to anybody to “self-identify” as anything? Seems like a pretty low bar to clear.

    “Hey Billy-Bob, if you “self-identify” as a Native Hawaiian bisexual, you can have a seat on our board.”

    And will they start applying this same logic to high school, college, and professional sports teams? What about McDonald’s workers? Or managers?

    Bizzarro logic takes place when people start demanding equal outcomes instead of equal opportunity.

    1. Cute try, but also the exact wrong point you seem to be trying to make.

      The U.S. Constitution does not relegate blacks to “three-fifths of a person” status.

      Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” The “other Persons” were slaves.

      The 1787 Constitutional Convention addressed the apportionment in the House of Representatives and the number of electoral votes each state would have in presidential elections based on a state’s population. The Southern states wanted to count the entire slave population. This would increase their number of members of Congress. The Northern delegates and others opposed to slavery wanted to count only free persons, including free blacks in the North and South.

      Using the logic of the promoters of the “three-fifths of a person” interpretation, think of the constitutional ramification had the position of the Northern states and abolitionists prevailed. The three-fifths clause would have been omitted and possibly replaced with wording that stated “other Persons” would not be counted for apportionment. The Constitution, then, would be proclaiming slaves were not human at all (zero-fifths). This is an illogical conclusion and was certainly not the position of Northern delegates and abolitionists.

      Counting the whole number of slaves would have benefited the Southern states and reinforced the institution of slavery. Minimizing the percentage of the slave population counted for apportionment reduced the political power of slaveholding states.

      In 1787, the founders were attempting to form a union and preserve the nascent United States. This imperfect compromise allowed for preservation of the republic while also confronting the moral and systemic evils of slavery. Erroneous and distorted interpretations of the Constitution only intensify the societal divide in America.

      1. Using the logic … therein lies your problem. You make way too much sense for a low resolution mind to resovle.

        Those that down vote your comment unfortunately have the inability to logically connect ideas and arguments. You might try communicating your rebuttal using a deep fake rapping platitudes over a dope beat.

        … thats why you will get a few 1 star votes because this audience has a few 1 star minds.

  5. Now we know why Apple’s board took the somewhat unusual and controversial move of having the active CEO join the board and also why Bell, Jung, and Wagner are there, too. Gay? ✓ Black? ✓ Female? ✓ Asian? ✓

    When you institute quotas, you denigrate and demean those who fulfill them.

    Tokens in spirit, even if not in reality, are still regarded as tokens; lesser than the non-tokens.

    1. You know maybe Apple just doesn’t have that bias against minorities. And maybe other companies still have the old boys club mentality that results in male white only board members. It’s the latter that this ruling is trying to correct. It is not that those minorities are less worthy; it is that they have to excel far beyond the equivalent white male to be considered.

  6. equality of opportunity is a brilliant idea

    equality of outcome is evil!

    or

    When will the NFL, NBA start demanding equality of outcome. How come Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Mexican Americans are vastly underrepresented in the NFL. And what about women ? Why are women forced to play inn their own league? The NBA may be the most Racist/Sexist League in human history.

    What about discrimination of people physically challenged. How come there are no short people in the NBA. What message dose this send to kids. Shorter east Asian need not apply. What a bunch of bigots.

    It seems professional sports organizations are more concerned with finding the most qualified players than fairly representing the communities they serve. It seems wining is more important than equality of outcome. What a racist idea that promotes winning over community responsibility.

    The NFL and NBA are systemically racist and sexist. They must be torn down and all records of past playoff games and championships must be removed from public access. All future generations and children must be protected from any knowledge of such a shameful past. These are not sports heroes the are sports zeros. If it wasn’t for their physical privilege they wouldn’t be shit. Hard work and self discipline is a form of white oppression.

    New sport leagues that represent all people must be replaced. Defund the NFL… reimagine modern sports… F Espn …

    1. Funny how nobody asks that question when a corporate board is 100% White, Non-Hispanic, straight, and male in a state where less than 15% of the population has those “qualifications.” The assumption seems to be that there is nobody qualified among the other 85%. Really?

      1. Like it or not, white men built almost all of these large American companies. That’s why they dominate executive suites and boardrooms.

        YOU are the one examining populations, noting skin colors, genders, sexual preferences, assigning percentages to these racist, sexist, sexualist labels and trying to force some mythical version of “fairness.” Your version of “fairness” is inherently unfair.

        So, instead of giving the normal passage of time to allow for the natural progression of people to rise through the ranks to high positions within companies and on their boards, you want to force it to happen unnaturally, by force – inciting racial, gender, etc. tensions where there don’t need to be any.

        Typical Democrat: trying to mandate predetermined outcomes while retarding actual natural progress by inflaming tensions and creating divisions.

        1. White men built these corporations in part because nobody else was given a chance.

          How long is the “normal passage of time?” The US Constitution has prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin since 1868. Women have had the vote since 1920. Segregation has been illegal since 1954. The statutory mechanisms for ending discrimination on the basis of sex, age, race, and national origin have been in place since 1964. Discrimination against persons with disabilities has been illegal since 1990. The laws against homosexual conduct were abolished in 2003.

          The argument that the victims of discrimination should wait for “natural progress” was definitively refuted by Dr. King in “Why We Can’t Wait.” 56 years later, folks are still being told to wait.

        2. No such thing as “natural progression” is nationally recognized. Not even Apple sues such a concept. If it did, its products would be no better than Microsoft’s and we would not have the non-natural iPad, iPhone, or iWatch. Yes, even Ballmer thought that iPhone did not fit into “natural progression” meaning Windows.
          But it seems to be used as a feel good, rational-sounding, even kind of environmental, or congenial quality that exists in nature when it is likely used by powerful and privileged folks to make no effort to work for the elimination of racial, economic, income, access, and sexual disparity that clearly exist.
          “Natural progression’s” tenor is similar to Donald’s “We’ll see what happens, how it goes; We’ll see…” allowing circumstances to devolve even further, perhaps toward chaos or at least to unchanged stasis.

      2. TX, I understand what you are saying, nonetheless adopting racist and sexist practices in order to remedy what may or may not have been racist and sexist practices is not right. It’s disgusting.

        In California the state is trying to get rid of its own CIVIL RIGHTS legislation so they can go hog wild with race based legislation, particularly in schools where they will be wrongfully punishing students based on their skin color. Asians in particular will be punished. This is right to you?

        1. What is your solution for ending discrimination that has been not just illegal but unconstitutional for 152 years now? Waiting for natural progress has clearly not solved the problem of discrimination. Up until late 2016, I would have said we were making progress, but then we elected somebody who tells non-White American citizens to go back where they came from, complements white audiences for having good genes, bans training on racial sensitivity, refuses to say that Black Lives Matter, refuses to accept that white supremicists are a threat to public safety, opposes the integration of white suburbs, uses “law and order” as code for suppressing dissent, refuses to admit that minorities are disproportionately affected by police excessive force, etc.

          1. “What is your solution for ending discrimination yada yada yada…”

            What we have here is clearly a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome.You need professional help! There is a cure, just take the red pill.

            1. Which of the things I said that Mr. Trump said or did do you claim was misstated? It is hardly “deranged” to point out the truth. It would be deranged to pretend that any of those things are consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

      3. “Funny how nobody asks that question when a corporate board is 100% White, Non-Hispanic, straight, and male bla bla bla…”

        You seem to be a racist-sexist-bigot-homophobe. Does everyone have to have multiple labels attached to them for you to be comfortable?

        1. No, the racist-sexist-bigot-homophobes are the men claiming that 15% of the California population (the white non-Hispanic straight males) are entitled to nearly 100% of board positions because it is impossible to find a few hundred qualified board members out of the other 85% of the population, 33 million people. That claim is absurd on any unbiased set of assumptions.

  7. This law is of dubious constitutionality for reasons having nothing to do with the objections made against it. Apple, like most public companies, is a Delaware corporation. How can a State that is not the State of incorporation dictate the membership of a company’s board of directors? What if Delaware were to pass a law forbidding quotas on Delaware corporate boards?

    This statute strikes me as an unconstitutional interference by California into the internal affairs of other States. (Of course, is you are incorporated and based in California, then you are out of luck on this argument.)

  8. To paraphrase Michael Crichton’s Dr. Ian Malcolm, here’s a note to Democrat governor Newsom:

    You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you didn’t stop to think if you should.

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