California bans all-male corporate boards

Originally published at:


In before the flood of posts decrying “forced diversity”, contrarian “I’m a woman, but…”, “government overreaching”, and “but, capitalism”.


Did you already make Bingo cards?


Its all very well, and I guess I am in favor, but we all know that this is a great boon for the kind of woman who is most palatable to corporate boards in California. And by definition others will be crowded out. Somewhere, sometime, there will be a gay, black, handicapped 60 year old veteran who lost a leg saving Iraqi kids, who will lose out to at the short list stage.

Ah well. Not that I have a solution. Good luck to you lady MBA’s.


9 posts were split to a new topic: Incels, Diversity, and white feminism

The article is unclear on one thing. It says the law bans all-male corporate boards, but it also says it specifies publicly-traded companies. Does it apply to private firms? If not, I wonder what the reasoning for that is.

“Publicly traded companies constitute less than 1 percent of all U.S. firms and about one-third of U.S. employment in the non-farm business sector.”


Does the law stipulate whether trans women satisfy the requirement?

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I would expect so, since trans women are women.


I once suggested during a corporate brainstorm on how to increase diversity that we sent recruiters to Howard University, to which I was told “we can’t compromise on our standards in the name of diversity”.

Ancdotal, but I think it’s very telling about the mentality at play: “Oh gee, I guess if we have to we’ll also take women from Stanford…” - and if they’re all white they can pass the buck to the admissions departments.

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Agreed, but I can see conservative opponents using this line of argument when trying to contest the law.

I’ve often said - pick 25 random Fortune 500 companies or S&P, etc and go to their “Leadership” page.
That will tell you all you need to know about how they really feel about diversity in corporate America.
Side game - count the number of female officers that are the head of HR.


Of course, but that’s not the question: does the law agree?


Ok, so I finally looked up just what the hell ‘incel’ means. Hum, my guess was somewhat close…


In California, yes.


How much of an effect will this have? I thought most companies in the US incorporated in Delaware, as it acts like a tax and regulatory haven.

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Business is far from my field of expertise, but aren’t there quite a few people who incorporate themselves for legal reasons. Essentially, they form a one person corporation to protect their personal assets from business debt. (And probably other reasons as well.)


Individuals form limited companies, yes, but you can’t incorporate yourself. Generally a limited company has a defined scope of business, and if you have your aluminum-siding business buy your TV for you, then (a) you are inviting courts to “pierce the veil” and let business creditors take your house, and (b) that TV is exposed to your business debts in any event. Even Delaware has its limits (I assume).

But yeah, I assume part of the problem with applying this rule to private companies is that their “boards” are commonly just the owner or owners, and it’d be kind of onerous and pointless to say “you have to find a woman from somewhere and give her a $1 share in your comic book shop so she can weigh in on business decisions”.

Also, though it sounds quaint now, the point of public companies is that they are answerable to the public. They’re allowed to effectively print their own money (in the form of shares), and in exchange, they have to report to society at large. That is, women’s pension funds should not be managed exclusively by men (although I hate it when people use that “normal people’s pensions” trope to talk about public companies but that’s another story).


Smaller companies may not even have a board of directors. Private companies, such as Family businesses and partnerships, often have boards that are made up of people who have existing relationships and are not beholden to the same level of regulation that public companies are.

Ultimately I think that trying to force this to happen by regulation will not work as well as the lawmakers might hope but at least someone is trying something to make a change happen, it’s obvious that the big public companies wouldn’t be making any changes unless they were forced to.


Delaware needs to do this. Almost everything is incorporated in Delaware to avoid paying state taxes.