EU Wants Women to Have 40% Share on Company Boards

The European Commission wants women to have at least 40% representation on the boards of listed companies, but the plan has reportedly run into opposition from some EU member states.

The European Commission wants women to have at least 40% representation on the boards of listed companies, but the plan has reportedly run into opposition from some EU member states.

A draft commission directive seen Wednesday envisages that women, long a rarity at the corporate high table and outnumbered there roughly seven to one by men according to the EU, should play a much bigger role.

European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding challenged listed company heads last year to commit to a program by March 2012 under which women would have 30% of board seats by 2015 and 40% by 2020.

The draft noted that the current "under-utilization of highly qualified women's skills constitutes for the EU a loss of economic growth potential."

"The business case for more gender diversity on boards is widely recognized among stakeholders," it added.

A Financial Times report Wednesday said Great Britain opposes the plan, arguing that such issues are best left to national governments.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

TAGS: Leadership
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