May  2018
In This Issue
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Public Policy 
State Bill Would Increase the Number of  Women on Boards of Directors 

California is one step closer to being the first state in the nation to require more women directors on the boards of public companies. 

Legislation authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Senate President Toni Atkins would provide equitable and diverse gender representation on corporate boards of directors by requiring every publicly-held corporation headquartered in California have a minimum of one woman on its board by the end of 2019.

In addition,  Senate Bill 826 requires that by the end of July 2021, a minimum of two women must sit on boards with five members, and at least three women must sit on boards with six or more members. California is be the first state in the nation to consider such a requirement. 
Chapter Events 
Santa Barbara:  How to Become a Highly Paid Expert on May 30

Silicon Valley:  Business Journal Women of Influence Awards on May 31
Sacramento:  June Business Builder Series on June 21.
New Training 
Learn how to Develop and Grow Your Business    

NAWBO Silicon Valley - Education Group has an exciting opportunity for women business owners. The chapter is offering a fabulous training program (The Next Level), funded partially by a grant from the NAWBO San Francisco chapter's Entrepreneurs Economic Institute. The focus of the training is helping women business owners develop and grow their businesses.
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President's Message
Creating Social Norm Change for Women Business Owners

We live in unprecedented times for women. The ugliness of gender biases and sexual harassment are increasingly coming to light. The good news is that awareness and intolerance for these old social norms are growing. I believe we are at a tipping point with opportunity to address past wrongs and change how we do business. A lot is riding on the many women (and men!) working to increase transparency and level playing fields - to create new standards for how we hold ourselves accountable as a society that values intelligence, creativity, initiative and ambition over protecting old power bases and cronyism.  

Social norms are invisible - until they're not.
I've been travelling in Europe for business and vacation. It's opened my eyes to what would seem impossible, but is "normal" in other cultures. We lunched at a German farmer's market. Not only are wine and beer served in high quality stemware, food vendors serve lunch on nice china with real silverware. Customers are free go find a place to sit and eat, and there is no question that they will return the items. An American who is working in Berlin explained: "There is a high level of trust here. For example, on the trains, they do not have people checking for tickets. Most people do not cheat."

So, maybe it shouldn't be such a surprise that other countries have already changed their norms, advancing gender diversity on corporate boards. In 2003, Norway mandated 40% of corporate board seats be held by women, followed by France and other European countries. In 2015, Germany mandated that 30% of corporate board seats be held by women.

As the fifth largest economy in the world, California is well-positioned to lead the U.S. in promoting gender equity in the workplace. I am so proud of NAWBO-CA's leadership to increase opportunities for women business owners, and to open doors for more women to serve on boards of directors of large publicly held corporations. Thirty years ago, NAWBO made it possible through HR5050 for women across the U.S. get a business loan in their own names without a male relative signing on. (In 1986, I bought my husband a car as a surprise for our anniversary - except that I had to have him sign the car loan!) HR 5050 also established the Women's Business Center (WBC) program.

Today, NAWBO-CA's early success so far with SB 826 in Senate hearings is tangible evidence that a new day is dawning. We are seeing support from groups and people that no one would have predicted a year ago. Much remains to be done, and any success will be hard-fought.

One obstacle is limited awareness about how these influential, lucrative board positions are handed from friend to friend behind closed doors - where only board members know who is being considered until a single selected candidate is announced. As an organization of business owners, NAWBO CA supports freedom for businesses owners and leaders of closely-held corporations to do what's best for the business in most cases. But we challenge that assumption that it's the same for large corporations owned by shareholders who lack knowledge of closed-door practices or a meaningful voice to change them. Data show how much more successful companies are with diverse boards - but there are many in power who prefer business as usual. 

Have you heard Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire speak at Propel? Do yourself a favor and read her book:  
The Board Game - How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors  Here's why NAWBO-CA advocates for adding a seat for a woman on all-male corporate boards:  "The board nomination and selection process all happens confidentially, behind closed doors," explained Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, board member of NAWBO-CA and CEO of Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search. "There is no transparency. Seats only come open when current board members retire or pass the generally accepted age limit of 75. Years can go by before there is an opening, and then friends of existing board members are typically selected. With this bill, corporations that have no women directors currently will be required to add a seat for a woman in 2019. Seats would not be taken away from existing boards members, but a woman would be added."

Here is another voice of wisdom from Fast Company Magazine"For years I thought it was a pipeline question," said Julie Daum, who has led efforts to recruit women for corporate boards at Spencer Stuart. "But it's not - I've been watching the pipeline for 25 years. There is real bias, and without the ability to shine a light on it and really measure it, I don't think anything's going to change. Ultimately at the top of an organization there are fewer and fewer spots, and if you can eliminate an entire class of people, it makes it easier."

The good news is we are awakening to the reality of how decisions are made and challenging the assumption that individuals in positions of power automatically put the best interests of stockholders over their own self-interests.

This is not about men versus women.
Don't hear me blaming men. As in so many social systems, the problem is a few in power blocking access and fair consideration for those without power. And just as there are many men working to help right historic wrongs against women, there are also opportunities for women to step up. It was not uncommon for the few women who were let in to old boys' networks to fail to mentor other women or open doors behind them out of fear of losing their place if they rocked the boat. Some women believed that in order to succeed in business, they had to be as competitive as men. But what really excites me and gives me great optimism is the spirit of open cooperation and mutual gain I see growing among women business owners.

The new norm I see is cooperation instead of competition; mentoring - instead of "mine." I learned a new word from a (male) German client - Co-petition.
Our challenge will not end with this one Senate bill, or even a new law. Glass ceilings will remain to be broken. Let's co-compete to get there!
Anne Staines
NAWBO-CA President 
New  Retirement Savings Program
CalSavers is coming! Here's what to know:
In 2019, a public board chaired by State Treasurer John Chiang will roll out the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program, hailed as the most significant expansion of retirement security since the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935. CalSavers is a voluntary workplace Individual Retirement Account (IRA) program for private sector workers designed to be simple, safe and portable from job to job and comes at zero cost to taxpayers and employers.

State law will require all businesses with five or more employees to either offer a retirement savings vehicle or enable their employees to make automatic payroll contributions to their CalSavers IRA. Deadlines for employers to comply will roll out over a three year period based on the size of business. Click here to learn more about what it means for your business.
New Test for Independent Contractor Status 
California Announces a New Wage and Hour Independent Contractor Test
I n a groundbreaking new decision, the California Supreme Court announced a significant change in independent contractor law, adopting a modified "ABC" test for determining whether an individual is an employee under the Wage Orders.  This new independent contractor test is modeled on Massachusetts' independent contractor statute, which has been considered the strictest in the country. 

The New Independent Contractor Test
California courts and state agencies have long applied what is known as the  Borello test for determining whether a worker was an independent contractor under the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.  This flexible, multi-factor approach looked primarily at whether the hiring entity had a "right to control" the manner in which the worker performed the contracted service, along with eight other "secondary" factors, such as whether the worker was engaged in a distinct occupation or business, the skill required in the particular occupation, and whether the worker or the hiring entity supplied the tools used to perform the work and the place where the work was performed. Continue reading.