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Nasdaq setting rules for diversity

Nasdaq forcing listed companies to improve diversity

The Nasdaq stock exchange listed companies will have to provide binding gender diversity targets.  Many countries are discussing if diversity on company boards should be promoted by regulation setting minimum standards. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has now taken a standpoint by approving a proposal from Nasdaq to require that its listed companies have diverse boards, or explain why they don’t.

This means that Nasdaq listed companies must have two diverse directors, including one who identifies as female and another one as an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+. If the company doesn’t have that, it must explain why.

The listed companies must also publicly disclose the diversity of their boards.

Nasdaq has earlier published a study showing that 75% of the listed companies would not meet the now approved rules.

The Commission´s chairman Gary Gensler in a statement said that “these rules will allow investors to gain a better understanding of Nasdaq-listed companies’ approach to board diversity”.

Nasdaq issued a statement saying it is looking “forward to working with our companies to implement this new listing rule and set a new standard for corporate governance.”

“We are pleased that the SEC has approved Nasdaq’s proposal to enhance board diversity disclosures and encourage the creation of more diverse boards through a market-led solution.”


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