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In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the SB 826 bill into law, a landmark legislation requiring female representation on corporate boards. Specifically, the bill requires that at least one woman be on the board of publicly-held companies in California by year-end 2019. Despite concerns over its potential efficacy, the bill is an important step in diversity and inclusion, as well as for the advancement of women.
In an official letter, Governor Brown stated, “There have been numerous objections to this bill and serious legal concerns have been raised. I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation.” He continued, “Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long, it’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America.”
How does this concern real estate? Publicly-held real estate companies in California are most likely to be affected by this new legislation, requiring female representation on their boards. This might be a productive start for increasing the share of women in areas where they’re greatly underrepresented, such as commercial real estate.