Board Diversity Requirements: California, Nasdaq, and More

In-House Counsel Working Group Teleforum

Event Video

Corporate board diversity requirements are gaining attention. In December 2020, Nasdaq filed Proposed Rule 5605(f) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which would require companies to satisfy diversity standards and disclose statistics related to board diversity. (In August 2021, the SEC approved the rule.) Just a few months prior to this proposal, in September 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 979, which mandates California-based companies to reach board-diversity thresholds by the end of 2021.

What do these requirements typically do? How should the SEC consider these rules and proposals? How do they affect businesses, hiring practices, and the job of in-house attorneys in satisfying legal requirements, identifying clients, managing outside firms, and more? 


  • Prof. Stephen M. Bainbridge, William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California Los Angeles School of Law
  • Prof. Lissa L. Broome, Burton Craige Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Banking and Finance, University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Prof. Jesse M. Fried, Dane Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
  • Prof. Cheryl L. Wade, Harold F. McNiece Professor of Law, St. John's University School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Patrick J. Bumatay, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.