Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law on Oct. 30 making California the first state in the union to require corporate boards include at least one woman by 2019.
The concept for this law was put in place with good intentions and is being broadcasted in a way that shows the state cares about equal opportunity in the workforce, the reality is there’s no lack of opportunity when it comes to women in in the corporate world.
Women have, for quite some time now, been given the same opportunity as men to find themselves at the top of any business, the problem is that simply not as many qualified women apply for these positions as qualified men do.
According to a report by CBS, an entire fourth of business headquarters in California have no women on the board.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s discrimination in the workforce.
It’s a great thing California wants to use this law to encourage women to apply for these corporate positions, however this law will potentially end up doing just the opposite by improperly categorizing and badly discrediting women in business.
If woman who applies for position and is only picked over a male who for whatever reason may be more qualified, it will not only be an unfair loss of opportunity for the man. Not only that, but any woman who is picked for the job will automatically be discredited due to the fact it will seem like she was only picked so that the company can meet their quota and not be fined by the state. We need to strive for equal opportunity, not forced acceptance; and we are taking two steps backwards with this law.
On the one hand, the passing of this law can beneficially impact the professional world of women by giving them much greater contingency in the sense of making their way up to the top spot. There are many qualified women who deserve this chance and it has now been made more accessible to them.
This law could also potentially be of betterment to California businesses as far as diversity and success. When women are given greater chances to lead, there will be a better outlook for women to show the significance they can bring to any given company. So that, regardless of the law’s success, California businesses are shown what great impact gender diversity can have on their overall development.
On the other hand, the potential dangers of this this law include having a horrendous effect on California businesses and the economy as a whole.
Due to the unreasonableness with this law, businesses that don’t want to get fined for not having women on the board will eventually pack up and move to another state. If the impacts of this law make this law make enough businesses leave the economy will collapse and no one wins.
Potential economic downfall as well as degrading and discrediting qualified women is surely not on Brown’s agenda, but the people have spoken and will reap the consequences of this decision.
At the end of the day this law is benefiting no one and was poorly executed. The idea that more women need to be included in corporate offices is an amazing concept, but there’s got to be a better way.