A coalition of business associations Monday urged passage of legislation aimed at increasing corporate board diversity.
In a letter sent to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, 17 organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, the Real Estate Roundtable and the National Association of Investment Companies urged passage of H.R. 5084, the "Improving Corporate Governance through Diversity Act of 2019."
The bill, passed by the House with bipartisan support in November, would require companies to disclose the racial, ethnic and gender composition of their boards of directors and executive officers, and to identify any veterans in those positions. It also requires companies to disclose any plans to promote racial, ethnic and gender diversity among these groups.
The Securities and Exchange Commission would have to establish a diversity advisory group to report on strategies for increasing diversity.
The business groups said in the letter that they support efforts to increase diversity on corporate boards "as diversity has become increasingly important to institutional investors, pension funds and other stakeholders."
Passing the bill, the letter said, "would establish a model to organically boost diversity on boards through disclosure."