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Meeks’ Corporate Diversity Bill Passes House

November 19, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks’ bill, the “Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019” (H.R. 5084) passed the House.

H.R. 5084 does the following:

  • Disclosure Requirements - Public companies will be required to publish diversity data annually in their proxy statements, based on voluntary self-identification, regarding the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of their board of directors, nominees for the board of directors, and executive officers. Similarly, companies will publish data on those who have voluntarily self-identified as veterans.  Public companies will also have disclosure requirements on the adoption of any board policy, plan or strategy to promote diversity.
  • Institutes Best Practices - The bill directs the Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion of the SEC to publish, every three years, best practices for compliance with the disclosure requirements of this bill, including through solicitation of public comments. 

The bill also directs the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the SEC to establish an Advisory Council, that includes issuers and investors, to advise on these best practices. 

Rep. Meeks issued the following statement:

“The ‘Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019’ is the culmination of years of work dedicated to increasing transparency so that the highest levels of corporate America can begin to reflect the diversity of America.

“Studies have shown that the lack of diversity in C-suites and corporate boards is not only an injustice, it is a detriment to business and a hindrance to innovation. Bringing diversity to the highest levels of corporate governance will make companies more accountable to the public and to the economy, and improve their financial performance, as studies have shown.

“The benefits achieved through these disclosure requirements are why HR. 5084 has earned broad bi-partisan support across civil rights groups, corporate America and investors alike. I am very proud to have passed this legislation through the House, and look forward to working together with the Senate to pass it into law.”

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