European & International News

EU database of board-ready women launched

[Brussels, 13 December 2012] On 12 December, the European Business Schools’ Women on Boards Initiative launched their ‘Global Board Ready Women’ online searchable database in order to promote gender equality on company boards. The database already contains the details of 8000 well-qualified women who fulfill a clear set of criteria for publicly-listed company board-level positions. The women listed have at least five years’ experience in the given fields and are available for service.

For the EWL, the database is clear evidence of the falsity of the often-heard argument that “there are not enough qualified women to occupy positions in the boardroom”.

At present, more than 85% of corporate board seats are effectively reserved for men and there has been very little progress over the last decade despite various self-regulation initiatives. Consequently, the EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding proposed legislation with the aim of attaining 40% representation of the under-represented sex in non-executive board positions of large companies by 2020.

Despite these efforts the EU institutions themselves fail to lead by example. One of the latest issues is the appointment of Yves Mersch to one of Europe’s most powerful financial institution, the European Central Bank. No female candidate had been nominated for the all-male board with the argument that there were no female candidates to be found. The ‘Global Board Ready Women’ database is a great example to the contrary.

The database can be a step to ensure that women candidates with equal qualifications and experience are visible and given a fair chance at landing the same top positions as men. The EWL hopes that the database can start to remove some of the obstacles that women face and ensure democratic and meritocratic principles.

The EWL welcomes and congratulates the network and members involved in the European Business Schools Women on Boards Initiative on their work.

Read the press release of the European Commission: “Shattering myths and glass ceilings: launch of database of ‘Global Board Ready Women’”.

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