Women

How Wall Street is pushing for more women

Source: ISS Analytics; Note: 2019 is year-to-date figure; Chart: Axios Visuals

Louder calls from big investors and other Wall Street heavyweights have helped push the percentage of women joining boards to a record high. For instance, proxy advisers — who wield a lot of influence in how shareholders vote on issues — say they plan to take board diversity more seriously.

Driving the news: Last week, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) released its final voting guidelines for the 2020 proxy season. As expected, ISS will "generally" recommend that shareholders vote against certain board members at companies with all-male boards.

California's "women quota" in boardrooms faces pushback

Illustration of conference table with men. In the middle is a silhouette of a woman.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

California’s unprecedented law requiring all public companies headquartered there to have at least one female board member by 2020 is drawing lawsuits.

Why it matters: Pressure to diversify corporate boards has historically come from shareholders and special interest groups. With California's law poised to take effect — and at least three states weighing similar legislation — critics are raising the question of government overreach.