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5:00 – 5:30pm Reception
5:30 – 6:30pm Presentation
The Center on the Legal Profession, the Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford Women on Boards, and the Vision 2020 Project co-host a discussion between Stanford Law School Professor Deborah Rhode and Visiting Professor Aaron Dhir, author of the new book, Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity: Corporate Law, Governance, and Diversity (Cambridge University Press 2015).
The lack of gender parity in the governance of corporations has ignited a heated global debate about the most effective way to increase diversity on corporate boards. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with corporate board directors in Norway and documentary content analysis of corporate securities filings in the U.S., Dhir’s book investigates two distinct regulatory models designed to address diversity in the boardroom: quotas and disclosure. His study of Norway’s quota model demonstrates the important role diversity can play in enhancing the quality of corporate governance, while also revealing the challenges diversity mandates pose. His analysis of the U.S. regime shows how a disclosure model has led corporations to establish a vocabulary of “diversity.” At the same time, the analysis highlights the downsides of affording firms too much discretion in defining that concept. This book deepens ongoing policy conversations and offers new insights into the role law can play in reshaping the gendered dynamics of corporate governance cultures.
Professor Deborah Rhode
Stanford Law School
Deborah L. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, the director of the Center on the Legal Profession, and the director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. She is the former founding president of the International Association of Legal Ethics, the former president of the Association of American Law Schools, the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the former founding director of Stanford’s Center on Ethics, a former trustee of Yale University, and the former director of Stanford’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She also served as senior counsel to the minority members of the Judiciary Committee, the United States House of Representatives, on presidential impeachment issues during the Clinton administration. She is the most frequently cited scholar on legal ethics. She has received the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck Award for contributions to the field of professional responsibility; the American Bar Foundation’s W. M. Keck Foundation Award for distinguished scholarship on legal ethics, the American Bar Foundation's Outstanding Scholar Award, the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for her work on expanding public service opportunities in law schools, and the White House’s Champion of Change Award for a lifetime’s work in increasing access to justice. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and vice chair of the board of Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund).
Professor Rhode graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Yale College and received her legal training from Yale Law School. After clerking for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, she joined the Stanford faculty. She is the author or coauthor of over twenty books and over 250 articles. She also serves as a columnist for the National Law Journal and has also published editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Slate. Recent publications include The Beauty Bias, Women and Leadership, Legal Ethics, Gender and Law, Moral Leadership, and Access to Justice.
Aaron A. Dhir
Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto
Aaron A. Dhir is Associate Professor of Law (with tenure) at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Canada. He was the 2013–14 Canadian Bicentennial Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School, as well as a Global Justice Senior Fellow at the Yale MacMillan Center. Dhir has served as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, the University of Oxford, and University College London. His scholarly interests center on corporate law, governance, theory, and accountability.