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Photo: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images

New diversity and inclusion rules are on the table for some of America's most powerful corporations, courtesy of one of its most powerful stock exchanges.

What's new: Nasdaq is threatening to delist companies that won't move toward having at least one woman and at least one underrepresented minority or LGBTQ person on their corporate boards.

Why it matters: More than 3/4 of the companies listed on the Nasdaq fall short of the proposed requirements, according to its own review.

  • "Around 80% or 90% of companies had at least one female director, but only about a quarter had a second board member that would meet the diversity requirements," a source told The Wall Street Journal.
  • The rules aren't immediate: If the SEC approves them, companies have a year to disclose their board breakdowns. Those that don't meet the requirements need to explain why.
  • The proposal would give companies several years to meet the requirements, the Journal notes.

Between the lines: Nasdaq believes that forcing disclosure will cause companies to comply, thus preempting delisting decisions.

The big picture: Other countries, especially in Europe, made mandatory quotas a legal issue.

  • Germany is now requiring at least one woman on any board that has three members, the Financial Times reports.
  • "Norway introduced gender quotas in 2003, while Iceland, Spain and France require that women fill 40% of supervisory board seats," NPR reports.

The bottom line: California's boardroom law has shown that this can broaden the pool of people who get added to corporate boards.

  • Of the 138 women who joined all-male California boards last year, 62% are serving on their first company board, Axios' Courtenay Brown reported earlier this year.

Go deeper: Axios Re:Cap today features Nasdaq's senior VP of corporate services to discuss the proposed policy rules. Listen here.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech is outsourcing its hardest content moderation decisions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Faced with the increasingly daunting task of consistent content moderation at scale, Big Tech companies are tossing their hardest decisions to outsiders, hoping to deflect some of the pressure they face for how they govern their platforms.

Why it matters: Every policy change, enforcement action or lack thereof prompts accusations that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making politically motivated decisions to either be too lax or too harsh. Ceding responsibility to others outside the company may be the future of content moderation if it works.

Updated Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Senate panel to hold hearing after high-flying Reddit stocks cause Wall Street chaos

Major trading platforms including Robinhood, TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers are restricting — or cutting off entirely — trading on high-flying stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

The latest: Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced Thursday that he plans to hold a hearing on "the current state of the stock market" in response to this week's volatility.

1 hour ago - World

Army to award Purple Hearts to troops injured in Iran missile attack

Damage at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing U.S. and other foreign troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in January 2020. Photo: Ayman Henna/AFP via Getty Images

The Army has approved 39 more Purple Hearts for U.S. soldiers wounded in an Iranian military ballistic missile attack on an Iraq base in January 2020, the Army Times first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Most of these soldiers sustained brain injuries, per the Army Times. Then-President Trump dismissed their injuries at the time as "headaches" and "not very serious," sparking backlash from some veterans groups.