Identity-Quota Nightmare on Company Boards, by Janet Albrechtsen.
After visiting the Soviet Union in 1919, American investigative journalist Lincoln Steffens famously proclaimed: “I’ve seen the future, and it works.” Today’s beacon of hope for delusional, emotionally overwrought progressives is California. …
Given that we are on the same path, driven by the same ideology and beliefs — or rather myths — it is quite possible that California’s today is our tomorrow. And what a misguided Soviet-era model of central command and control it is.
Skin color and gender over all, and it’s the law:
California law already requires that by the end of next year, any publicly held corporation, whether domestic or foreign, with its principal executive offices in California must have at least three female directors if it has six or more people on its board, or at least two if it has five on its board. A female is defined as “an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth”.
Now, under a new law that came into force on September 30, any publicly held corporation headquartered in California must also meet quotas for a range of minorities. By December 31 next year any corporation with a California HQ must have at least one director from “an under-represented community” on its board. By the end of the following year, a sliding scale will determine the number of “diverse” directors. Companies with four or fewer directors must have at least one director from an under-represented community; those with between five and nine directors must have at least two minority directors; and those with nine or more must have at least three diversity directors.
“Director from an under-represented community” means an individual who self-identifies as black, African-American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native, or as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
And fines apply: $US100,000 ($139,000) for the first violation, up to $US300,000 for each subsequent violation.
Coming to Australia:
Leave aside for one moment the obvious scope for abuse by spurious self-identity, the potential for avoidance by shifting headquarters out of California, and the constitutional doubts on this legislation, the killer question is: is this just a Hollywood-inspired nightmare, or could it happen here?
If you listen to Debby Blakey, chief executive of industry super fund HESTA, and her colleagues in other activist industry super funds, the Californian rules seem to be the logical end point of what they want.
In a letter to companies in the S&P ASX 200 Index, HESTA says it regards gender representation and diversity as an indicator of the quality of a company’s governance and management of “‘social licence to operate” risks. “For HESTA to assess whether a company is managing for these risks, we will be looking at gender equality and diversity as an indicator of fairness,” it says.
The none-too-subtle hint is that … companies lose their “social licence to operate” if their boards do not reflect the various minority groups in society (presumably in the proportion those groups are represented in society).
Which comrades made up this “social licence to operate” stuff? Sounds great, but it’s a total bluff. Companies exist to make profits for their shareholders, and they make profits by pleasing customers. So butt out, SJWs.