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Welcome to the EWL - The Centre event on Women on Boards, 29 February 2012

[Brussels, 23 February 2012] The Centre and the European Women Lobby (EWL) invite you to the presentation of the EWL report ‘Women on Boards in Europe – From a snail’s pace to a giant leap?’ and to discuss state of play and expectations that stakeholders across the board have on Vice-President Reding’s upcoming proposal for EU measures to push for greater parity in the business world.

‘Women on Boards in Europe – From a snail’s pace to a giant leap with EU measures?’

29 February 2012 from 18:00 to 19:45
Followed by drinks


  • Marije Cornelissen, MEP (Greens/NL) Shadow rapporteur for the EP report ‘Women in Business Leadership’
  • Sabine de Bethune, President of the Belgian Senate (CD&V)
  • Claire Godding, Diversity Manager, BNP Paribas Fortis, Fortis Bank SA
  • Cécile Gréboval, Secretary General, European Women’s Lobby
  • Petter Sørlien, Councellor for equality, Mission of Norway to the EU

Moderated by Simon Wilson, Director, Edelman | The Centre

On average, women account for 12% of board members in European companies while 97% of their Chief Executives wear a suit and a tie.

Women’s share on EU company boards has increased by only 2% over the last five years. To change the snail’s pace at which the business world is advancing towards parity, a few EU member states have followed the example of Norway and introduced binding legislation, while others have adopted non-binding targets or encouraged self-regulation.

Yet, the vast majority of governments and companies have remained inactive, but they might have to take action soon.

In 2011, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding launched an initiative aimed at increasing women’s representation on company boards to 30% by 2015 and 40% by 2020. With her "Women on the Board Pledge for Europe”, she gave self-regulation the last chance before EU-level regulation. In early March this year, the Vice-President will reveal whether sufficient progress towards the targets has been made. She will announce later in 2012 what measures she intends to take up on EU level to increase the number of women on company boards.

Strong EU intervention can ensure equal representation of women and men in economic decision-making in all EU Member States, but will the Commission seize the opportunity to turn the slow progress into a giant leap?

To register, please send an email with ‘Women on boards’ in the subject field and stating clearly your name and organisation to: meet@thecentre.eu

The event will take place at:

Edelman | The Centre
Avenue Marnix 22
B-1000 Brussels

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