New York enacts “Women on Corporate Boards Study” law

On the heels of California requiring all corporations headquartered in the state to have at least one woman on its board of directors, with increasing diversity requirements in future years, New York has decided to study the issue. At the end of 2019, New York passed a law that requires all corporations that do business in New York to report the gender composition of its board.

The New York “Women on Corporate Boards Study” law is broader than the law enacted by California in that it pertains to any corporation doing business in New York, as opposed to headquartered in its state. As a result, this law will likely lead to a large volume of data to study the issue, with reporting required for both public and private corporations. The reporting requirement starts on June 27, 2020, and New York will compile year over year trends before publishing the first report no later than February 1, 2022.

Currently, California, New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Maryland, and Illinois have introduced or passed a law pertaining to gender diversity on the board of directors. For corporations, these initiatives will increase board compliance obligations, but may also have an impact on the makeup of the board itself. At least, that is what the state of New York is hoping to accomplish.

VW Contributor: Alex B. Rainville
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