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45 J. Legis. 1 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/jleg45 and id is 1 raw text is: 










DEFINING 'DIVERSITY' IN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: A
                              GLOBAL SURVEY


                              Dr. Askhaya Kamalnatht


                                        ABSTRACT

     This Article explores the connotation of the term diversity in the corporate
governance sphere and the utility of such a connotation. To explore what the term
has come to mean, this Article conducts a comparative analysis of how the term is
used in the corporate governance context in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, India,
and Malaysia. Based on this analysis, this Article argues that the push for diversity
(in the way it has come to be understood) on company boards needs to be re-exam-
ined and recommends that the SEC needs to define the term in accordance with its
policy goals.

                                    I. INTRODUCTION

    Diversity is a term that has taken on a significance that is different from its actual
meaning in many contexts like the judiciary, education, corporate governance, and,
publishing. 1 While this Article is concerned only with diversity in corporate gov-
ernance, it is worth pointing out that the issue is part of a larger phenomenon in which
the term diversity is being utilized to further equality (rather than diversity) related
goals.2 In corporate governance, the goal, or at least one of the goals of diversity
regulations, is that of improving board functioning in most jurisdictions.
     The Oxford English Dictionary defines diversity as [a] range of different
things.3 The Cambridge English Dictionary is a little more specific. It defines di-
versity as: The fact of many different types of things or people being included in

       t  Lecturer in Deakin Law School, Melbourne, Australia. LL.M, New York University School of
Law, B.A.LLB., Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad, India.
       1 See Maritza Perez & Ben Hernandez-Stern, The Federal Judiciary Needs More Latino Judges, THE
HILL (May 24, 2018), http://thehill.com/lpinion/ijudiciarv/389288-the-federal-judiciarv-needs-more-latino-
iudges; see also Sulaiman Ilyas-Jarrett, Greater Oxbridge Diversity Will Have Academic as well as Social Ben-
efits, TMES HIGHER EDUC. (June 14, 2018), https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/greater-oxbridge-
diversity-will-have-academic-well-social-benefits; Arifa Akbar, Diversity in publishing  still hideously mid-
dle-class and white?, THE GUARDIAN (Jan. 21, 2009), https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/dec/09/diver-
sity-publishing-new-faces.
       2   See Kenan Malik, We're Now Confusing Diversity and Equality. Which is Our Priority?, THE
GUARDIAN (June 17, 2018), https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/we-are-confusing-di-
versity-and-equality-which-is-our-priority.
       3 Diversity, OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARIES, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/diversity
(last visited June 19, 2018).

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