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Nasdaq Wants To Force Social Justice Changes at Highest Levels of American Companies, Punish Those That Defy Diversity Quota

 America is going backward when it comes to race relations and discrimination, but not in the way the social justice crowd would have you think.

In the name of equality, Nasdaq has petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to require the more than 3,000 companies listed on its U.S. stock exchange to diversify directors on their boards — or else.

According to a news release Tuesday, companies would be forced to disclose their “diversity” statistics for board members and “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 minority1 or LGBTQ+.” 

This means that rather than choosing someone based on skills, experience or even the content of their character, these companies will have to use criteria that has nothing to do with their role and everything to do with superficial characteristics such as skin color — exactly what people used to call “racist” in more sane times.

The proposal gives companies one year to disclose that otherwise irrelevant information, plus two years to appoint a “diverse director,” with companies on their global indexes forced to have at least two directors that check the right boxes within that same time frame. 

Failure to find someone who fits the bill could get the company punished by being delisted from Nasdaq, with devastating impact on the financial future of those publicly traded companies.

This measure is pure lunacy for all the ways it flies in the face of logic while contradicting the principles it purports to encourage, such as fairness and equality.

Instead, it forces companies that don’t have anyone with the right skin color, gender or sexual partner to boot someone from a director’s role, only to shoehorn a potentially less qualified candidate into his or her place for the sake of arbitrary requirements.

The best arguments against sexism and racism in hiring has always been that businesses grow and thrive when they ignore physical characteristics or lifestyle choices and simply hire the people most qualified for the job.

That’s not the way Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman sees it, of course.

“Nasdaq’s purpose is to champion inclusive growth and prosperity to power stronger economies,” she said in the news release, without providing any evidence there is an economic benefit to choosing diversity over ability.

“Our goal with this proposal is to provide a transparent framework for Nasdaq-listed companies to present their board composition and diversity philosophy effectively to all stakeholders; we believe this listing rule is one step in a broader journey to achieve inclusive representation across corporate America,” Friedman said.​

Friedman told  The New York Times the SEC “could actually apply it to public and private companies because they oversee the private equity industry as well.”

Because companies are petrified of attacks from the woke left, several supposedly savvy business leaders who should know better were quick to jump on board.

“Successful companies must cultivate diversity to fuel innovation and to thrive in today’s era of ongoing environmental, social and economic change,” TechNet CEO Linda Moore said in the release. “The technology industry is committed to promoting inclusivity at all levels to ensure that our economy remains robust and innovative. We support Nasdaq’s proposal to advance diversity throughout corporate America.”

“Outstanding leadership by @adenatfriedman and @Nasdaq on their board diversity initiative. Great example of using a platform to drive needed change,” Gregg Lemkau, co-head of Global Investment Banking for Goldman Sachs, tweeted Tuesday in lockstep with his company’s boasting.

“Needed, a big deal and way overdue. Right on @Nasdaq. Our diversity at the board level is critical to our success,” Chip Paucek, co-founder and CEO for the software company 2U, also tweeted.

As with many supposedly well-intentioned but ill-conceived inclusion strategies, this policy is unfair and full of unintended consequences.

This policy is first and foremost discriminatory, as it bases employment on race, gender and sexual orientation (there are laws against that apparently only when wielded against favored groups).

Furthermore, the qualified talent pool already is limited at the highest levels of business, and this additional consideration will be onerous on companies that need to both comply and continue to run a successful business.

Then there is the problem of companies collecting sensitive facts about their employees and reporting the facts to Nasdaq vendor Equilar, a practice otherwise objectionable had the left not completely subverted everything.

“Imagine forcing someone to disclose their sexual orientation,” American philosopher Peter Boghossian tweeted in response to the news.

The left has gained considerable ground in its quest to twist language and fashion public policy into the opposite of what it used to be.

Diversity as an end itself is just another form of discrimination, but because it lifts the “right” people and potentially hurts the “wrong” ones, it’s allowed and codified in government, education and now finance.

This is absolute madness and shocking injustice of Orwellian proportions being imposed from the highest levels of America’s financial system, all in the name of “fairness.”

If this social justice ideology isn’t stopped, the American free market economy will be crushed into dust by it — and cowardly CEOs will applaud their demise all the while.

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