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Kansas City Partner Vicki Westerhaus was quoted Dec. 2 by regarding new rules proposed by Nasdaq that would require more than 3,000 companies listed on Nasdaq’s U.S. stock exchange to publicly disclose diversity statistics for their boards of directors and to have at least two diverse directors – one who self-identifies as a woman and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+ – within the time periods specified in the proposed rule. Board executives and legal departments across the country are mulling their ability to comply with the requirements as the Securities and Exchange Commission considers adopting the rule. “The game changer is that if the SEC approves this, it will be the first time we’ve seen a step away from disclosure-only to a mandate regarding diversity,” said Westerhaus, who serves as outside general counsel to several Nasdaq-listed companies. “The bottom line is companies are going to ask up front as they recruit diverse candidates, ‘Would you consent to the disclosure of your diversity characteristics?’”

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