March 13, 2019

Beidle Introduces Corporate Gender Diversity Legislation

In a Wednesday afternoon hearing of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Senator Pam Beidle (District 32 – Anne Arundel) detailed her proposed legislation (Senate Bill 911) that seeks to account for gender diversity in the leadership of both non-profit organizations and publicly-traded companies.

Senate Bill 911 would require non-profit organizations (with operating budgets exceeding $5 million), to report their percentages of female board membership when applying for a sales and use tax exemption and require publicly traded companies (with operating budgets exceeding $5 million) to report their percentages of female board membership when filing specified personal property reports.

Summarizing the legislation, Beidle stated: “Senate Bill 911 is about gender diversity in the boardroom.” She followed: “The bill aims to increase transparency and promote equality and diverse gender representation on influential boards of Maryland-based stock and non-stock corporations.”

Citing the many times where she had been the only female member of an organizational board of directors, Senator Beidle noted the significance of the legislation and its potential impact on corporations and non-profit boards. “This is a way of bringing attention to the issue of including women on their boards and seeing better results than they have in the past,” she stated.

Joining Senator Beidle in her sponsorship of the legislation are Senators Carter (District 41 – Baltimore City), Elfreth (District 30 – Anne Arundel), Kagan (District 17 – Montgomery), Lee (District 16 – Montgomery), and Washington (District 43 – Baltimore City).

Having now been heard in its committee of origin, Senate Bill 911 awaits a vote of the Budget and Taxation Committee. Senate Bill 911 is cross-filed with House Bill 1116 which is sponsored by Delegate Shelly Hettleman (District 11 – Baltimore County). House Bill 1116 was heard before the House Ways and Means Committee on March 5th and similarly awaits a vote from that committee.

All legislation must successfully pass both the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates by Sine Die on Monday, April 8th to be sent to Governor Hogan to be approved or vetoed.