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Senate Passes Resolution to Encourage Corporate Gender Diversity

July 29, 2015
Senator Spilka, Representative Haddad, business leaders and advocates testify in support of the Women on Boards Resolution

Senator Spilka, Representative Haddad, legislative co-sponsors, business leaders and advocates testified in support of the Women on Boards Resolution before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development on July 21st.

The Senate today voted in favor of S1007, a resolution to encourage equitable and diverse gender representation on boards of companies in the Commonwealth. Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) and lead co-sponsor Representative Pat Haddad (D-Somerset) filed the resolution in recognition of consistent research showing positive business impacts of greater diversity on boards of directors.

“This is not just a women’s issue or a family issue. This is a business issue,” said Senator Spilka. “Businesses with greater gender diversity at the top have a competitive advantage in the global economy. With this resolution, we are making a strong statement of public policy that Massachusetts values equality, justice and diversity.”

“Today the Senate encouraged our business community to close the gender gap on corporate boards by appointing more women to board positions. Diversity in leadership allows for a variety of perspectives when making important decisions on the direction of companies and nonprofits,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “I hope Massachusetts businesses will become national leaders in expanding the number of women as board members.”

Senator Spilka filed the Women on Boards resolution with support from 62 co-sponsors in the legislature, the Alliance for Business Leadership, 2020 Women on Boards, local advocates and business leaders. The legislation encourages privately held and publicly traded companies in Massachusetts to:

  1. Adopt policies and practices designed to increase the gender diversity in their boards of directors and senior management groups and set goals by which to measure their progress;
  2. Publicly disclose the number of women and total number of individuals on their boards of directors; and
  3. Have a minimum of three women directors on boards of nine or more and a minimum of two women directors on boards with fewer than nine directors by December 31, 2018 AND measure their progress toward a goal of equal representation of men and women in leadership positions on an annual basis.

The resolution will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

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