California Law AB 979 promoting board diversity does not go far enough.

AB 979 has a much too narrow definition of “underrepresented communities,” leaving out many identities who deserve to be included.

Boardroom inside sky scraper with lots of windows and white furniture, table and 15 chairs
Boardroom inside sky scraper with lots of windows and white furniture, table and 15 chairs
  1. AB 979 only applies to people who identify as non-White and some very specific LGBTQ identities. There is way more potential board diversity available than those two categories (three if you include gender from SB 826). Missing from AB 979 are:
  • Other sexual orientation minorities such as two-spirited, asexual, pansexual, etc.
  • Military status
  • Age
  • Caregiver status — wouldn’t it be great if hospitals were required to have at least one board member who was caregiving for someone with an incurable long-term issue like Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, or multiple sclerosis?
  • Socioeconomic status — though one can argue that to have the experience that qualifies you for a board position, you are unlikely to belong to the lower socioeconomic categories.
Sign on concrete wall with graffiti “Everyone is welcome”
Sign on concrete wall with graffiti “Everyone is welcome”
Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

AB 979 is example number one of what we, as a society, absolutely MUST stop doing.

By failing to take an intersectional approach to diversity, the State of California has said, “You folx on this list? You’re good. We got your back. Folx not on the list, sorry, you are out of luck.”

Blogger, disability advocate, nerd. Bringing the fire on ableism. A11y Architect @ VMware. Wheelchair user w/ a deaf daughter. CS, Law, and Business background

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