Law360 Quotes Andrew Freedman on Gender Diversity in California Public Co. Boards

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Law360 (subscription required) recently quoted Co-Head of Olshan’s Activist & Equity Investment Group Andrew Freedman on the recent law that was passed in California regarding female representation on public businesses boards.  The new legislation states that California based public businesses with principle offices in the state are required to have at least one female director by the end of 2019. Within the next two years the number is set to increase depending on the size of the business’ board.  Although this legislation will guarantee more diversity there are concerns with how this new law can have a negative impact on how candidates are chosen for board positions.  This has also called into question whether the legislation can be held up to the constitution.  Already it has been criticized for giving businesses the opportunity to add or remove their board members solely based on gender.  “Whether or not this California legislation passes constitutional muster, efforts like this to promote boardroom diversity are gaining momentum and making a positive difference in corporate America, where women and minorities are accounting for more new board seats than ever before,” Mr. Freedman said.  “The days of the ‘old boys’ club’ in corporate America are now largely gone, or at least numbered.” He continued, “ But it’s about more than just numbers, and I suspect the next big push will be to cement the substantive leadership roles of women in the boardroom and ensure they have equally powerful voices as their male counterparts.”

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