From today’s FT: EU pushes 40% quota for women on boards:
Europe’s listed companies will be forced to reserve at least 40 per cent of their non-executive director board seats for women by 2020 or face fines and other sanctions under a proposal being drafted by the European Commission.
The legislation, a copy of which was obtained by the Financial Times, is aimed at what EU officials believe is a severe gender imbalance across the bloc’s 27 member states. EU data shows that in January, women represented only 13.7 per cent of board positions in large listed companies.
Several EU countries (e.g. France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands, according to the article) have already adopted national gender quotas. Other countries, such as Britain and Sweden, have strongly resisted the notion of gender quotas for boards.
If passed, the legislation will mean significant change for the boardrooms of many European countries. Above are figures from Catalyst on the percentage of board seats held by women in various EU countries as of 2012, with Norway, Sweden, and Finland (not surprisingly) far in the lead. For most of Europe, however, a 40% target is a substantial increase over current numbers.
I haven’t blogged much about board diversity lately, not because I’ve become uninterested, but because I’ve been working on a book on the topic. And like academic authors everywhere (maybe all authors everywhere?) we’re a bit behind, though not too much. Anyway, as I start to get my head above water I hope to be back with more posts soon on the topic.