When Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 826, California became the first state in the nation to require that all public companies have at least one woman on their board of directors. The change must come by the end of 2019, but it can’t come soon enough, according to a new survey from theBoardlist and Qualtrics. They spoke to 285 business leaders and board members around the country and found that the overwhelming majority of them believe that corporations were not doing enough to add more women to their board of directors on their own.
The reasons given for supporting the bill boiled down to either money or fairness. Per the survey:
- 42% supported the bill because diverse companies are more profitable.
- 38% supported the bill because women have proven they are equal and should be given positions they deserve.
- 12% believe quotas are the only way to ensure diversity.
Men aren’t onboard with forced diversity. While nearly 80% of women surveyed supported SB 826, only 40% of men did. The bill also did not have bipartisan support among respondents—fewer than 50% of Republicans surveyed supported the bill, while nearly 85% of surveyed Democrats did.
That said, the main reason people didn’t support the bill (37%) wasn’t because they disagreed with the premise, but because it seemed like government overreach. Overall, though, 98% of people outside of California who support this bill hope that a similar bill is passed in their own states. Better start writing your state representatives!