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Leveraging The Power Of Women On Boards And Civil Rights

In a recent posting on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Nate Emeritz proposes several mechanisms under Delaware law for leveraging existing female board power to prevent the female board perspective from being outweighed.  These include creating a female board member qualification, imposing a female board member quorum requirement and providing female directors with greater voting power.  

I will refrain from commenting on the legality of these proposals under Delaware law.  I do caution, however, that they may violate state anti-discrimination statutes.  For example, California's Unruh Civil Rights Act provides "All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever."  Cal. Civ. Code § 51(b).  

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