California is now the first state in the nation to require publicly held companies to put female directors on their boards (SB826). "Female" of course includes an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.
If you are a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation with its principal executive office located in California (per company’s Form 10-K) with outstanding shares listed on a major United States stock exchange, you need to pay attention to this new requirement.
You will be required to have a minimum of one female on your board of directors by the end of 2019, and by the end of 2021, you must also comply with the following:
If the company has 6 or more directors, at least 3 must be female
If the company has 5 directors, at least 2 must be female
The Secretary of State may impose a $100,000 fine for the first non-compliance and a $300,000 fine for each subsequent violation.
Private companies should think about including females on their boards as part of their plans to go public.
Today, women hold just 18 percent of positions on the boards of the 3,000 largest publicly traded corporations in the U.S. In 2017, 624 public companies had no women on their boards at all.