DealBook: Who’s on board with Nasdaq’s diversity push

The New York Times DealBook | Andrew Ross Sorkin | Dec 9, 2020

As DealBook was the first to report last week, Nasdaq will ask the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to set minimum board diversity requirements for companies traded on its exchange, on pain of delisting. According to a survey by the Harris Poll, shared exclusively with us, the American public is fairly supportive of the move, but thinks more needs to be done.

Most American investors agree with Nasdaq’s plan, which would require boards to have at least one woman and one director who identifies as L.G.B.T. or from an underrepresented ethnic group. About 22 percent of those polled strongly agreed with the plan, while 33 percent somewhat agreed. Non-investors surveyed by Harris largely followed a similar pattern.

  • About 40 percent of people correctly guessed how many companies already met the proposed guidelines. (It’s less than a quarter.)

But investors are somewhat split on whether it will work. About a third of respondents said they were hopeful that the proposal would “create any change in diversity and inclusivity,” while 27 percent said they were annoyed by the imposition.

Read the full story at The New York Times DealBook.