[Brussels 4 September 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.
The EWL pledges for parity on corporate boards and is alerted by the announcement of several newspaper articles that Ms. Viviane Reding would apply quota only to supervisory boards as it is apparently stated in the EC draft that is on hand of some German newspapers.
The 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.
We are calling on the DG Justice and the Commissioner Reding to review her draft of the directive as only executive boards are taking decisions. Women therefore, would be excluded from decision making procedures when the EC directive would apply only to supervisory boards.
The EWL states that women should not stand in front of closed doors when it comes to executive boards as the talent of half of the population stands outside. The EU can no longer afford to shut its eyes especially in times of crisis.