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(PHILADELPHIA) Thursday June 13, 2013 –Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown’s “Women on Boards” Bill.  The legislation requires contractors seeking to do business with the City of Philadelphia to disclose certain demographic information including gender, race and geographic data of those serving as board members and executive staff.  “We cannot manage what we cannot measure.  This bill will offer us the transparency needed to determine if a contractor values diversity in the workplace and in leadership positions” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown.  “It is a fact that when three or more women are at the table in executive positions, the content and tone of a meeting changes.  Women bring a different, yet equally significant set of priorities to the table.”  Autumn Bayles, President of the Forum of Executive Women said, “We [the Forum] believe that having more women in executive positions and on boards is good for business.  Diverse thinking lends itself to natural checks and balances, and adds different perspectives on consumers, many of whom are female.”  The bill was a recommendation from a 2013 report produced and sponsored by Councilwoman Reynolds Brown and reported out of the City Council Committee on Commerce and Economic Development.  The report, “Women on Corporate Boards:  We Can Do Better!” detailed the following:

  • Women = 11% of board seats in the top 100 public companies in the region
  • Women of Color = Less than 1% of board seats in the region
  • Women = 11% of the 36 new directors at 45 of the largest public companies in the region
  • 41% of boards in Philadelphia have zero women
  • In 1976 women occupied 5% of Fortune 500 board seats—By 2011, the number rose to 16%

Mayor Michael Nutter is expected to sign the bill which would go into effect immediately thereafter.  Enforcement will be handled by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce via the Office of Economic Opportunity.

For additional information please contact the Chief of Staff, David Forde at (215) 686-3438

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