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CEO DATELINE – U.S. Chamber backs corporate diversity bill

Feb. 7, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is backing a proposed law that would require public companies to disclose the diversity of their corporate leadership.

The legislation by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) would require companies to annually disclose the gender, race, ethnicity and veteran status of their board of directors, nominees for board positions and senior executive officers. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).

In a letter to Meeks, Chamber Senior Executive Vice President Suzanne Clark said the bill “would establish a model to organically boost diversity on boards, rather than the counterproductive quota-driven strategies that some jurisdictions have attempted.”

“Your legislation would also increase transparency at companies by requiring them to disclose diversity plans as well as the gender, race, ethnicity, and, relatedly and importantly, veteran status of their boards, nominees and directors,” Clark added. “The bill would also establish a private sector advisory group to establish best practices on how to disclose this information.”

The NAACP, Urban League and Council for Institutional Investors have also endorsed the bill, according to a statement by Meeks.

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