June 14, 2021

Nasdaq Board Diversity Listing Proposal: SEC Extends Consideration Period

Increased gender and ethnic diversity on public company boards is generally viewed positively.  Nasdaq’s board diversity listing proposal has generated a bit of back and forth discussion as some have questioned the empirical research Nasdaq cited as justification for the proposal – John blogged back in April with one take on it and then Liz blogged about another take on it in May. Last week, the SEC issued a notice stating that it designated a longer period to consider Nasdaq’s proposed rule change.  August 8 is the new date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove Nasdaq’s proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1.

Besides the back and forth that John and Liz blogged about, there’s been quite a number of comment letters about Nasdaq’s proposal and the Commission’s notice says it’s extending the period so it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the comment letters. And, for those reading the latest Reg Flex Agenda closely, you probably noted that corporate board diversity is among items listed in the proposed rulemaking stage, which includes an October 2021 target date.

– Lynn Jokela