Seawright's Women on Corporate Boards Bill Passes Legislature

Bill promotes women’s leadership in publicly held corporations

Albany, New York – On June 20, 2019, legislation sponsored by Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Senator Liz Krueger to enact a “Women on Corporate Boards Study” passed both houses of the legislature. The bill will require the Department of State, in collaboration with the Department of Taxation and Finance, to conduct a study to determine the number of women serving on each board of directors of domestic and foreign corporations authorized to do business in New York State.

Nearly 53% of the residents of New York State are women, but the percentage of women is much less in our Corporate Board rooms. As a long term advocate for women in the workplace, Seawright introduced this legislation to promote the appointment of women on all boards of publicly held corporations. This legislation will provide for a study to identify the number of women on corporate boards, require an annual report of actions taken to promote gender diversity on their boards and plans for future action.

“New York State is one of the largest economies in the world and as such, sets a global example for corporate responsibility. In taking a proactive approach, corporations will identify where they are lacking in diversity. This is a major step forward to ensuring that women have a voice in the discussions and decisions that will affect corporate actions and profitability,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.

“Women’s lack of representation in the boardroom is a persistent problem that has far-reaching implications for employees and consumers. Among other things, data shows that companies with less than three women on their board perform worse financially. New York is home to some of the world’s largest and most influential corporations, so what we do here reverberates far beyond our borders. This bill takes an important step toward getting the information we need to bring this problem into the light,” said Senator Liz Krueger.