Politico: SEC must encourage more women on corporate boards, Maloney says

Jan 21, 2016
In The News

By Patrick Temple-West

01/04/2016 04:05 PM EDT

The SEC should require companies to report more about gender diversity among their board directors amid new evidence that there is still a small number of women serving in these roles, Rep. Carolyn Maloney said today.

In a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, Maloney applauded the agency chief's support for a goal of women to hold 40 percent of board seats at U.S. companies by 2025. But Maloney criticized the agency's rules for not requiring companies to report the number of women serving as board members.

A Government Accountability Office report released today, which Maloney had requested, showed the U.S. lags behind other countries in the percent of board seats held by women.

"Even if every future board vacancy were filled by a woman, we estimated that it would take until 2024 for women to approach parity with men in the boardroom," the GAO said.

There are changes the SEC can make now to encourage women board members, Maloney said.

"I urge the SEC to adopt a proposed amendment to proxy statement disclosures to require the clear indication of each board nominee's gender, race, and ethnicity," Maloney said in a letter to White.

An SEC spokesman declined to comment.

Maloney said she is preparing a bill that would instruct the SEC to recommend strategies for increasing women's representation on corporate boards, and require companies to comply with those recommendations or explain why they have not.