Lawmakers Intro Bill to Promote Corporate Diversity
Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) was joined by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Wednesday in introducing legislation to require public companies to disclose specific information related to the racial, gender, and ethnic makeup of corporate boards and senior management. Menéndez’s 2017 Corporate Diversity Survey found that although most Fortune 100 companies believe in the idea of increasing diversity among their senior leadership and corporate boards, few are making tangible progress on the matter. “As our country undergoes tremendous demographic and economic change, it is time the leaders of America’s most successful companies recognize that diversity is not just a buzzword – it’s a deliverable,” said Menéndez, the highest-ranking Latino in Congress. Only 37.7% of the surveyed companies including numeric targets for diversity at the executive team levels and only 11.5% of companies setting specific targets for diverse recruitment among their Board of Directors. The Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act responds to the findings of Menéndez’s Survey and addresses shortcomings in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s diversity disclosure rule. “This bill marks an essential step forward to ensuring that C-suites and boardrooms reflect the diversity of the people they employ, the consumers that use their products and the communities they reside in,” Booker said. Harris added, “When our country’s corporate leadership looks more like the rest of the country, it ensures that wider array of perspectives are heard in meetings and board rooms and that the needs and interests of more people are considered. We must do more to hold companies accountable for living up to their own diversity goals and make sure we have reliable data about their progress.” Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) introduced the companion legislation in the House. “Revealing the gender, racial, ethnic and veteran makeup of these corporate C-suites and boardrooms will not only shed light on the value of diversity, but hopefully encourage corporate shareholders to increase diversity in the highest ranks of their corporations,” Meeks said. More here.