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Talking Board Diversity: The Latest Drivers for Change to Diversity on Boards

We are delighted to bring you the third episode of our mini podcast series on boardroom diversity and how it has progressed over recent years. Teresa L. Johnson, Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP in San Francisco, joins Partner Emma Bartlett to discuss the drivers for change to diversity on boards that are currently taking place and the impact these will have.

In this episode, Teresa and Emma discuss the following:

  • The impact on board diversity following NASDAQ’s approval of new board diversity regulations and, in the UK, the FCA’s progressive proposals for board diversity for certain financial sector organisations.
  • Both the US and UK follow the ‘comply or explain’ method of implementing the changes.
  • How the FCA changes will lead the way for other industries and regulators in the UK. The proposed changes include:
    • A voluntary target of 40% of the board to be made up of women, including those identifying as women;
    • At least one senior board position should be held by a woman;
    • At least one member of the board should be from a non-white ethnic minority background;
    • Boards will be required to comply or explain in their annual financial reporting how they are performing against these voluntary targets.
  • It can be more difficult for smaller boards to promote diversity with their board members and therefore more challenging to meet set targets
  • The US has seen a big groundswell of support for compliance pushed by investors and effort to comply.

For more information on boardroom diversity, please contact our Partner Emma Bartlett, who specialises in employment and partnership issues for multinational employers, senior executives, partnerships and partners.