The Illinois House passed a bill to mandate greater diversity in corporate boardrooms. Bill sponsor, State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, proposed it be amended to not only mandate at least one African American and one female on company boards, but also at least one Latino director. “Studies have shown that companies with stronger diversity on their board perform better,” he said. “This proposal is a win-win, as it helps put corporate boards on a path toward greater diversity and ensures that the traditionally underrepresented voices of minorities and women are part of the conversations that impact our state’s economy.” The measure is expected to be considered in the Illinois Senate next week, but some are concerned it would force companies to choose between competing laws. The Illinois Constitution and Civil Rights Act already prohibit companies from discriminating based on gender or race, says Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Businesses say they continue to support efforts to improve diversity on boards.
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