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Executive Alliance, which promotes the advancement of women in professional and executive roles, launched an effort to support House Bill 1116/ Senate Bill 911, titled “Gender Diversity in the Boardroom” introduced by Del. Shelly Hettleman in Maryland’s General Assembly this year.

House Bill 1116/Senate Bill 911 will promote equitable and diverse gender representation in corporate and large nonprofit boards and encourages organizations to strive for a goal of 30 percent representation of women on their boards by Dec. 31, 2022. Publicly traded, private companies and nonprofits with operating budgets exceeding $5 million doing business in Maryland will report the percentage of female membership of their boards to Maryland’s Department of Assessments and Taxation under the bill. This information will be shared publicly on the comptroller of Maryland’s website and reported to the General Assembly on or before Jan. 1 of each year.

“Executive Alliance asks for your support of this bill that will advance and enhance the role of women in leadership positions in the private and nonprofit sectors,” said Patricia Lambert, president of Executive Alliance. “Join Executive Alliance in standing so that women can have a seat in boardrooms across Maryland.”

Maryland lags behind the national average of 22.5 percent of board seats held by women and executive positions in publicly traded companies, according to research done by Executive Alliance. There has only been a marginal increase in Maryland over the past 10 years. In 2014, 14.4 percent of board seats were held by women, and in 2018, 16.8 percent of board seats were held by women, although women make up 49 percent of the workforce.

“It’s encouraging to have the interest and bipartisan support of a growing number of female and male legislators who understand that greater diversity and inclusion benefits everyone. Now is the time to give women a seat and a say in boardrooms in companies and institutions statewide,” said Luwanda Jenkins, executive director of Executive Alliance.

Research demonstrates that having women on boards increases the performance of a company on key business metrics and brings greater net income growth and less debt. Board diversity also can improve Maryland’s economic competitiveness.

Executive Alliance is a statewide not-for-profit organization in Maryland composed of professional executive women. The organization initiates, supports and engages in activities to promote the advancement of women in professional and executive positions. Executive Alliance promotes the placement of women on corporate boards and educates the public on the benefits of having women in decision-making positions. Members serve as role models and mentors to women seeking to advance their careers.

PK Law Member, Patricia McHugh Lambert currently serves as the President of Executive Alliance.