CalSTRS' Anne Sheehan: Facebook Board Needs Women - The Houston Employment Law Blog

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CalSTRS' Anne Sheehan: Facebook Board Needs Women

Now that Facebook is going to be publicly listed, it is getting a lot more public scrutiny. Some of the scrutiny has resulted in negative comments regarding Facebook's employment statistics.

Turns out that the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), which is the second-largest pension fund in the country and invests heavily in the public markets, is saying that the Facebook Board needs women, reports Reuters.

CalSTRS, which manages $150 billion in assets, holds Facebook stakes through its private equity investments and will be a common stock holder when the company goes public. So now, its corporate governance director, Anne Sheehan, is throwing some of that investment power around, writing: "We are disappointed that the Facebook board will not have any women members."

The current Facebook board is made up of seven members. Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreesen, Erskine Bowles, James Breyer, Donald Graham, Reed Hastings, and Peter Thiel. Obviously, Anne Sheehan wants to be able to change that.

It is unclear why Facebook does not have female board members.

But if in reaction to public pressure it begins interviewing female applicants for the board or in its workforce in general, Facebook, as any other company, will have to exercise a little bit of care, especially in the interview process.

There are a whole host of illegal interview questions for women out there, compiled by the researchers at FindLaw. And while Facebook no doubt has the legal power to be aware of these well in advance of any job search, small employers might also benefit by taking a look at them.

Some of the illegal questions are the kind of things that often come up in the "small talk" session of an interview, like, "Do you have any children?" or "Are you married?" Other illegal questions can come up during the healthcare description part of a job interview, as questions about family planning, or special treatments may be deemed too invasive as well.

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