Justice Commissioner suggests quotas could be set at 20%, 30%, 40% or 60%
Viviane Reding, the EU Justice Commissioner, has today launched a consultation on introducing legislative measures to increase the number of women on company boards.
This move to mandatory quotas is opposed by most large UK companies, which prefer the voluntary, disclosure-based approach of last year’s Davies Review of women on boards.
Consultation: the key questions
The Commission’s short consultation document is here. The questions asked in the consultation regarding mandatory quotas are:
- “Which objectives (e.g. 20%, 30%, 40%, 60%) should be defined for the share of the underrepresented sex on company boards and for which timeframe? Should these objectives be binding or a recommendation? Why?
- Which companies (e.g. publicly listed / from a certain size) should be covered by such an initiative?
- Which boards/board members (executive / non-executive) should be covered by such an initiative?
- Should there be any sanctions applied to companies which do not meet the objectives? Should there be any exception for not reaching the objectives?”
The consultation closes on 28 May 2012 and its results will “”feed into an assessment of possible EU-level measures to enhance female participation in economic decision-making, which will inform the Commission’s decision on whether to propose action and on the form it should take”.
The Commission has also today released a progress report on “Women in economic decision-making in the EU“.
The most useful parts of the progress report are section 3 and Annexes 1 and 2, which set out the legislative and voluntary measures already taken in various EU member states to increase the proportion of women in senior business leadership positions.
Friendly Corporate PSL
To subscribe for our free weekly update e-mail, click here.