SB 826 – Letter to Assembly Members to Vote AYE

Please read the letter sent to Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R-55) and Assemblyman William Brough (R-73) on Monday August 20, 2018.

For more information on SB 826, read our blog post.

SB 826 (Jackson, Atkins, Leyva) Corporate Governance:  Women on Boards – Respectfully Request Your AYE Vote

Dear Assemblymember,

We are writing to respectfully request that you vote AYE on SB 826 “Women on Corporate Boards” when this bill is presented on the Assembly Floor. SB 826 is endorsed by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Orange County chapter (NAWBO OC) – our members have homes and businesses located in your district.

Additionally, the bill is sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners California (NAWBO CA), with 11 Chapters throughout the state representing the interests of the more than 1.55 million established women business owners across all industries, including Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. 

California would be the first in the nation to pass such an historic bill to require all public corporations headquartered in the state to have at least one woman director on their boards by Dec. 31, 2019–either by filling a natural open seat or by adding a seat for a woman director.  

One-fourth of California’s public companies have NO women on their boards. Companies that already have one or more women directors on their board are not affected by this law.  Privately-owned companies are not affected by this law. Only companies whose stock is traded on the public markets have to comply. 

Thank you for your courage to advance opportunities for women of all ethnic backgrounds. The arguments against this important issue are based on false perceptions and myths. Men would not have to give up their seats to bring women on boards. During 2019, if there’s no natural opening, caused by retirement, resignation or death of a current board member. then the board would ADD a seat for a woman.

Over recent years, studies by Credit Suisse, McKinsey, and other independent sources, have demonstrated conclusively that corporations with women on their boards are more profitable and more productive than those with no women. Therefore, shareholders are better served by having women on boards, as are the state’s retired employees and teachers whose pensions are managed by CalPERS and CalSTRS (strong proponents of this bill). This is clearly a business issue, with a powerful impact on the economic health and growth of California.

California is the fifth largest economy in the world, and should be leading the country.  Lagging behind the national average of 16.2%, California has only 15.5% board seats held by women.  There are 445 California public companies in the Russell 3000 with a total of 3,645 corporate directors. Only 565 seats are held by women, compared to 3,080 held by men!

Among the counties in the state: Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange Counties each have the lowest percentage of women directors (12%).  Silicon Valley, which has been historically low, now has 16%. And San Francisco County has the highest at 21%. We have fallen behind.

On behalf of the thousands of potential women board members in the County and state–qualified and talented women business owners and corporate executives in our state, as well as millions of Californians whose retirement savings deserve the best chance–we respectfully request that you vote AYE on SB 826 when this bill is presented on the Assembly Floor.


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