SEC approves diversity rules on Nasdaq board of directors

Diving letter:

  • A new rule stipulates that companies listed on the Nasdaq Composite Exchange Index must meet diversity requirements on their boards of directors, including the index’s many construction companies.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved an amendment to Nasdaq rules on Aug. 6 that requires its publicly traded companies to have different directorships or to provide a statement as to why they are not.
  • The new rule requires companies listed on Nasdaq to have at least two different directors, including one identifying as a woman and another as an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ +. For companies with five or fewer directors, the rule only requires one divergent director. Nasdaq-listed companies are also required to publish board-level diversity statistics using this disclosure format.

Dive Insight:

Nasdaq found in a 2020 study that more than 75% of its publicly traded companies failed to meet the new proposed requirements CNBC. The announcement received criticism from Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, while Capitol Hill Democrats and companies like Goldman Sachs and Microsoft praised the proposal.

Under the new rules, Nasdaq Global Select Market companies must have a divergent director by August 6, 2023 and two different directors or explain why they do not have two different directors by August 6, 2025, or the date the company files its proxy or information declaration. The largest construction companies listed on the Nasdaq include:

  • TuSimple stocks
  • ChampionX Corporation
  • Nikola Corporation
  • Latham Group Inc.
  • Hyzon engines

TuSimple, ChampionX and Hyzon Motors each have at least one woman and one minority or LGTBQ board member. All of the five largest Nasdaq-listed companies have at least one woman on their board of directors.

But the construction industry as a whole is already struggling with diversity in his workforce. Approximately 10.9% of the members of the construction industry are women, while 6% are black and 2% are Asian. About 30% are noisy Latinos, a demographic category of ethnicity, not race 2020 Labor Statistics Office.

About 72% of black or African American respondents and 66% of female respondents said: they have experienced discrimination or prejudice in commercial and residential construction according to a Survey by the National Institute of Building Sciences.

The drive for diversity in boardrooms comes at the same time as companies also focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments. ESG is an investment approach that scours publicly traded companies for pre-defined targets based on environmental, social and corporate governance criteria. like BlackRock.

For example, the Dallas-based construction giant AECOM announced in April a goal for women to make up at least 20% of managerial positions and at least 35% of the total workforce. Other publicly traded construction companies like Jacobs, Fluor, Balfour Beatty and Lendlease have also announced initiatives for diversity and inclusion.

Hundreds of construction companies have also signed the Associated General Contractors of Americas (AGC). Culture of the CARE initiativethat promotes diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.

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