EWL News

European Commissioners should support Reding’s effort to introduce a binding legislation on quotas, says EWL

[Brussels, 24 July 2012] The EWL welcomes the efforts that are being made by DG Justice, and especially, Commissioner Ms. Viviane Reding, leading a legislative process aiming at introducing binding measures at European level to achieve the equal representation of women and men on corporate boards; and has called to every Commissioner to give his/her support and being engaged to the initiative.

Following the 2011 European Parliament Report on Women and Business Leadership, which called on the Commission to propose a legislation -including quotas- in order to increase female representation in corporate management bodies, the Directorate General on Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship have been leading this year the process of drafting a legislation, about which a public Consultation was launched in April 2012.

The EWL has taken the initiative of writing the European Commissioners and EC President, Mr. Barroso, to reiterate EWL support for EC’s initiative and to call every Commissioner to be engaged in the process.

As can be read in EWL publication entitled “Women on Boards in Europe: From a Snail’s Pace to a Giant Leap?”, evidence shows that best results in moving towards equal representation of women and men on boards can be found in countries that have adopted binding regulation, notably France and Norway, where the failure to compliance with the regulation include sanctions for the companies.

All the evidences gained through these years shows that, in order to be effective and to assure that the talent of half of the population is not wasted, the legislation must address both the Company Boards and the Supervisory Boards and also the Chief Executive Officers (CEO). Therefore, the EWL stands for a legislative proposal requiring European listed and non-listed public companies with more than 50 employees and all state-owned companies to have 40% of women on their boards of directors by 2015 and 50% by 2020, and that includes effective sanctions for non-compliance.

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