The state Senate unanimously voted this week in favor of a resolution encouraging fair and diverse gender representation on boards of companies in the Commonwealth. The legislation encouraging gender equity in corporate leadership was co-sponsored by Senator Eric P. Lesser (D-Longmeadow).
“Women bring a unique and much-needed perspective to corporate decisions, whether in hiring, marketing or growth strategies,” Lesser said. “Greater gender diversity in corporate leadership results in more competitive and ultimately more successful companies.”
The resolution, sponsored by Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), encourages privately held and publicly traded companies in Massachusetts to have a minimum of three women directors on boards of nine or more and a minimum of two women directors on boards with fewer than nine directors by December 31, 2018.
It also asks companies to measure their progress toward a goal of equal representation of men and women in leadership positions on an annual basis.
Just 16 percent of corporate board seats nationally and less than 15 percent in Massachusetts are held by women. One-quarter of the largest companies in Massachusetts do not include any women on their boards of directors, according to data from The Boston Club, an organization of women executives and professionals in the Northeast region.
The resolution will now be considered by the House of Representatives.