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October 18, 2023

Better Markets Applauds Federal Court Decision Upholding SEC’s Approval of Nasdaq Board Diversity Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Dennis Kelleher, Co-Founder, President, and CEO, issued the following statement in connection with the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of the NASDAQ’s Board Diversity Rule:

“We applaud the decision of a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that approved a rule of the NASDAQ regarding the diversity of boards of directors of companies listing on the exchange.  This rule is critically important given the utter lack of diversity among corporate boards of directors and the many social and economic justice issues raised by that sorry state of affairs.

“We also applaud NASDAQ’s leadership in addressing this lack of diversity by issuing a rule that would require each company listed on the exchange to publicly disclose the self-identified gender, racial, and LGBTQ+ status of each member of the company’s board of directors. The rule also requires each listed company to have, or explain why it does not have, at least two members of its board who are diverse, including at least one director who self-identifies as female and at least one director who self-identifies as an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+.  These disclosures are critical for the public and investors to evaluate investment opportunities and the performance of companies, particularly considering the evidence that more diverse companies outperform less diverse companies.  That should be no surprise in a country that is more and more diverse.

“The Fifth Circuit correctly found that the SEC acted within its authority in approving the rule and rejected claims that it violated free speech.  Hopefully, this rule will lead to greater diversity in America’s corporate board rooms, which should better reflect the diversity of the country, and spark progress in bringing minorities into the economic mainstream and centers of corporate power.”


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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