Shearman & Sterling partner Doreen Lilienfeld (New York-Compensation, Governance & ERISA) authored an article, “Measures to Increase Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards Gain Traction,” in the New York Law Journal on January 7. Associate Nell Beekman contributed to the article.
Lilienfeld observes that “despite evidence showing that greater gender diversity on boards may be beneficial to corporations, women continue to hold a low number of board seats.” She notes that among the largest companies worldwide, women hold around 11 percent of these seats. Lilienfeld discusses recent legislative attempts to address this imbalance, including a resolution recently passed by the California Senate, as well as other initiatives and advocacy groups. She also addresses the effectiveness and acceptance of quota laws outside the US. “In Europe, the adoption of quota laws was in part a result of the lack of progress in achieving gender diversity through other means, and it is possible that legislative action may begin to seem more feasible in the United States if corporations fail to increase the number of women directors voluntarily,” she concludes.