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Why Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman wanted transparency about board diversity

May 26, 2021, 11:30 PM UTC
Adena Friedman of Nasdaq on Leadership Next.
Courtesy of Nasdaq

When Nasdaq president and CEO Adena Friedman drove a rule change requiring companies to disclose the diversity of their boards, she knew there would be some pushback.

“Any time any company decides to make a change like that, debate will ensue,” she says, “because we’re looking at a significant change to the disclosures, obligations, and responsibilities of 3,000 listed companies. But it’s something that we’ve obviously felt was a very important next step.”

But, Friedman adds, the negative comments in letters to the SEC were far outweighed by positive ones, including some from “prominent investor groups, corporate clients, and others, as well as advocacy groups that really look at this issue deeply.”

Friedman joins Fortune’s Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt on this week’s episode of Leadership Next, a podcast about the changing rules of business leadership.

Friedman, Murray, and McGirt discuss the rule, the recent wild valuations in the stock market, and how the pandemic changed things.

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