Committee Vote Advances Skinner’s Gender Equity on State Boards and Commissions

April 24, 2018

Committee Vote Advances Skinner’s Gender Equity on State Boards and Commissions

Senator Nancy Skinner’s (D-Berkeley) bill to require each of California’s appointed state boards and commissions have, at minimum, about half of their members be women advanced out of the California State Senate Judiciary Committee this evening. Skinner’s bill, SB 984, will now go to Senate Appropriations.

“California is full of highly educated expert women; SB 984 ensures that the composition of our state boards reflects that,” Skinner said. “California is a leader in pay equity; committing to gender equity on state boards furthers California’s leadership and sets a standard for the private sector to follow.”

Despite making up just over half of California’s and the nation’s population, a UC Davis study showed that women make up only about 13 percent of directors at the 400 largest publicly traded corporations in California. And among CEOs, only about thirty Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs. Things are little better in the California State Legislature, where women comprise only 23 percent of lawmakers.

Gender equity in decision-making bodies in business and in government is proven to add value. A study conducted by Catalyst reports that Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on their board of directors attained significantly higher financial performance than those with the lowest representation of women.

Governor Brown has made it a point to increase the number of women on state boards and commissions, with nearly 50 percent of his appointments being female. SB 984 would continue this legacy and make it standard for each and every state appointed board and commission. SB 984 would thereby cement California’s leadership in gender inclusion and increase women appointees’ access to other public- and private-sector leadership positions by expanding their credentials, networks and opportunities.

“State Boards and Commissions play an essential role in shaping and executing the state’s goals. Not only is it important that these boards feature female leadership, taking such action makes California a model for the gender equity we need in both the public and private sector,” said Skinner.

Senator Nancy Skinner (@NancySkinnerCA) represents the 9th Senate District. She serves as Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary.