NASDAQ, the second largest stock exchange company in the world, filed a proposal with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday for new diversity regulations that would directly impact the makeup of executive teams in over 3,200 American companies. Companies that would refuse to participate could find themselves delisted.
Tucker Carlson pointed out the inequity in the concept of diversity itself, which is a term that is undefined and arbitrary.
"Listen to what they're saying, diversity: that is the overriding goal of any appointment. Notice what they don't say. No one ever explains what exactly diversity is, not with any precision, or justifies that definition, no one dares to.
"And yet diversity is now required by corporate America. The NASDAQ, for example, has proposed new listing rules that require companies to 'have, or explain why they do not have, at least two diverse directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+.'
"Not to be outdone, the bank Credit Suisse today announced that it has created an index of 350 LGBTQ inclusive companies, and they will of course be rewarded accordingly.
"Now think this through for a minute," Carlson said, "there's alot of money at stake here with these definitions and alot of money that attaches. At some point, we're going to need highly specific ways to verify that the people who are benefitting from these categories deserve to.
"That they are indeed women, whatever that now means, or that they are legitimately LGBTQ+. What would that verification look like?" He asked. "Blood tests? Home monitoring? We'll find out at some point, unfortunately."
The NASDAQ's proposal would require businesses and firms that use NASDAQ's services to publicly disclose the diversity breakdown of their leadership as well as have at least two women, ethnically diverse individuals, or members of the LGTBQ community on their board of directors.
Nelson Griggs, President of the NASDAQ, released a statement on the company website, saying that he believes the proposal will provide a window of opportunity for diversity in business leadership.
"This proposal and partnership gives companies an opportunity to make progress toward increasing representation of women, underrepresented minorities and the LGBTQ+ community on their boards," Griggs said.
A statement put out on NASDAQ’s website spells out what the proposal would look like in practice:
"The rules would require most Nasdaq-listed companies to have, or explain why they do not have, at least two diverse directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority, or LGBTQ+. Foreign companies and smaller reporting companies would have additional flexibility in satisfying this requirement with two female directors."
Reporting from the The New York Times suggests that 75 percent of current NASDAQ companies do not currently meet the proposal's standards. This is the first time that a stock company has asked for more public disclosure than what was already required by law, making the impact it could have on its user base an unpredictably large one.
Tom Quaaman, the Vice President of the US Chamber for Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, put out a statement on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday afternoon, replying to NASDAQ's proposal. He's in favour of it.
"We appreciate the leadership of NASDAQ in developing a business led solution to resolving diversity issues on corporate boards," Quaaman said.
"This proposal will help accelerate the developments that are already underway and is a positive and balanced way to get to the end result of allowing boards to be more representative of a business’s consumer and employee base."