By Lydia Wheeler - 03/09/16 04:52 PM EST
The nation’s leading business group is backing legislation that would create a diversity advisory group within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to get more women on corporate boards.
In a letter to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it supports the Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act she introduced last week to increase gender diversity on boards of directors.
The legislation would require a corporation to report the gender composition of its board to the SEC. It would also establish an advisory group within the SEC tasked with studying and issuing a report on gender diversity among corporate directors.
“Today’s gender diversity efforts should focus on ideas to increase the participation of women in the boardroom organically,” Josten said in his letter. “Some jurisdictions have attempted to achieve diversity through quotas which have been counterproductive to the ultimate goal.”
In January, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study showing women held just 16 percent of seats in corporate boardrooms. Maloney had requested the figures in May 2014.
“If we do nothing, we won’t reach gender parity on corporate boards for at least another 40 years,” Maloney said in a statement. “It’s time for women, government, and corporate America to work together in addressing this problem."