Senate Bill 826, California’s law mandating board gender diversity for public companies headquartered there, elevated the conversation about the importance of diversity in the boardroom. With the first deadline under the mandate now in effect—public companies headquartered in California and traded on the NYSE or Nasdaq were required to have at least one female director by December 31, 2019—we look at the law’s early impact by studying the women who were added to previously all-male boards of companies headquartered in the state.*
The mandate led to the addition of many female directors to the boards of companies headquartered in California. On the first deadline of December 31, 2019, only 27 companies (4 percent) of California-headquartered companies had all-male boards. This compares to 29 percent that had all-male boards as of June 30, 2018.
*For purposes of the report, “female directors” refers to the women who joined the boards of previously all-male California boards during 2019.