If you’re business is a publicly held corporation it will be
required by a new California law [Senate
Bill No. 826] to have female board members by 2021.
California law defines a female as an individual who
self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the
individual's designated sex at birth.
The law applies to publicly held corporations that are
domestic (California-incorporated) general corporations or
foreign (not California-incorporated) corporations whose
principal executive offices are located in California.
Companies will be required to have at least two(2) female
directors if the company has a total of five(5) directors
and three(3) women if the company has a total of six(6) or
A publicly held corporation is a corporation with
outstanding shares on a major United States stock exchange.
No exception is made for small companies.
Small and large companies that are traded on the
major exchanges are subject to the law.
By the end of 2019, each publicly held corporation must have
at least one female director.
By the end of 2021, each publicly held corporation must
comply with the following:
If the total number of directors is 6 or more, the
corporation must have at least 3 female directors.
If the total number of directors is 5, the corporation must
have at least 2 female directors.
If the total number of directors is 4 or fewer, the
corporation must have at least 1 female director.
Publicly held corporations may increase the number of
directors on its board to add seats for female directors,
rather than displace male directors.
Violators can face fines of at least $100,000 and up to
$300,000 for multiple violations of the statute.
California follows several countries with legal mandates for
female representation on boards, among them Germany, Norway,
France, Spain, Iceland and the Netherlands.