Monday, December 7, 2020

California Imposes Diversity Mandates On Corporate Boardrooms


            Is diversity of skin color and sexual preference more important than diversity of thought and ideas? That certainly seems to be the case today. Example number 111,987 of this sad truism: starting in 2021, publicly held companies headquartered in California will have to have at least one director on their boards from an “underrepresented community.” Ergo, any corporate board of a company headquartered in the formerly Golden State that has shares listed on a United States stock exchange will have to include “an individual who self‑identifies as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self‑identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.” Preferably both. This new law expands and strengthens California’s existing gender diversity law(s) and further enlarges the scope of identity politics.

And the law gets progressively more demanding. And convoluted. By the end of 2022, boards of publicly held companies must have at least two directors from the specified underrepresented communities if they have “more than four but less than nine directors.” There will have to be at least three directors from an underrepresented community on boards of publicly held companies with nine or more directors. And there are significant financial penalties for non-compliance with these diversity mandates.

California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin “Do As I Say Not As I Do” Newsome stated at an online signing ceremony for the first-in-the-nation corporate boardroom diversity law, “When we talk about racial justice, we talk about empowerment, we talk about power, and we need to talk about seats at the table.” (Well, Newsome certainly knows about seats at the table. Especially seats at a table in the posh French Laundry restaurant, where he recently dined—maskless-- with 20 or so other folks in direct contravention of his own social distancing rules.)

I’m sure that, by 2040, Newsome will decree that company boards with nine or more directors will have to sport at least one African American, one Hispanic, one Latino, one Asian, one Native American, one Native Hawaiian, one Alaskan Native, one Somali, and one Maori tribesman, at least four of whom must be women or trans women. These same boards will be required to contain no fewer than 2 lesbians and 2 bisexuals, and at least one pangender and Nan0gender.

No Republicans, conservatives or devout Christians will be allowed to serve as directors on any board. Because, you know, diversity.

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