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Facts about Women on Corporate Boards in California
Data as of March 30, 2023


Enacted in 2018, SB 826 was a first-in-the-nation law requiring publicly-traded companies with California headquarters to have at least 1-3 women on their board of directors depending on board size. A Superior Court judge struck down the law in May, 2022; the decision is being appealed by the State of California. 


The benefits of SB 826 are clear: California nearly tripled the number of women on its public company boards in three years, and companies are experiencing first-hand the advantages of diversifying their boards, finding that board gender diversity is good for business, good for the economy, and good for California.


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Women hold 33% of California's public company board seats, 5% above the national average and more than double the 15.5% seats held by women in California in 2018


Now, 98% of California companies have at least ONE woman director.


491 companies (65.3%) have three or more women on their boards, up from 11% in 2018.

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Womens' representation on CA public company boards has nearly tripled since 2018, from 766 to 2051.

SB 826 COMPARISON 2018 - 2023



improved stock performance over all-male boards 

Credit Suisse conducted a six-year global research study showing that women on boards improve business performance for key metrics, including stock performance; companies with women directors on their boards outperformed shares of comparable businesses with all-male boards by 26 percent.


higher earnings for companies with female directors

A 2017 study by Morgan Stanley Capital International found that United States companies with three or more female directors reported earnings that were 45 percent higher per share than those companies with no female directors. 

There has been a greater correlation between stock performance and the presence of women on a board since the financial crisis in 2008. Companies with women on their boards significantly outperformed others when the recession occurred. 

A 2012 University of California, Berkeley study found that companies with women on their boards are more likely to “create a sustainable future” by, among other things, instituting strong governance structures with a high level of transparency.

Nasdaq has a new disclosure standard designed to encourage board diversity and to create more transparency for stakeholders

Since 2018, based on research indicating superior market performance, BlackRock recommends at least two women directors serve on boards of companies in which it chooses to invest.

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