U.S. Senator Tina Smith Fights to Increase Diversity in Corporate Leadership

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/6/20]—This week U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) helped introduce a bill led by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) to ensure transparency and encourage corporate leadership so that corporate boards reflect our nation’s diversity.

Despite a strong business case for diverse leadership, corporate boards do not reflect the gender, racial and ethnic diversity of the United States. According to a recent study, women and people of color occupy only 38% of board seats at Fortune 100 companies and 34% at Fortune 500 companies.  

“The truth is, when we work to empower people from different races, ethnicities, and genders, we all benefit—and the economy does too,” said Sen. Smith. “All parts of our identities should be a force of power and opportunity to contribute and share our strengths, and we need to make sure boardrooms reflect that. As a former small business owner and past employee of a Fortune 500 company, I’m proud to support the Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act and work toward that goal.”

The Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act of 2019 would:

  • Establish a Diversity Advisory Group, composed of representatives from the federal government, academia, and the private sector, to study corporate board diversity, report on study findings, and make recommendations to the SEC and Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees.
  • Require public companies to disclose the aggregate gender, racial, and ethnic composition of their boards and board nominees to the public.

Full text of the bill is available here.