EWL News

Women on boards: EWL recommends a 50% binding EU target for 2020

[Brussels, 23 April 2012] Moving towards equal representation of women on corporate boards requires EU-level binding legislation, stresses European Women’s Lobby in its reply to the European Commission public consultation on ’Gender imbalance on corporate boards in the EU.’

The EWL recommends EU-level binding measures to reach 50% of women by 2020. This measure should allow a gradual implementation with a mid-term target of 40%, and apply to listed and non-listed companies with more than 50 employees and all owned-state companies.

The EWL points out that self-regulation is a useful step before legislation, as it helps to change attitudes, encourages the business world to start looking for women candidates and creates public debate, but is not sufficient to achieve equal representation of women on corporate boards in Europe. Evidence shows that binding regulation is the only efficient way to move forward swiftly, and such measures should therefore be introduced also at EU-level.

In addition, the EWL recommends a broad range of additional measures to increase women’s representation, such as favouring companies with gender-balanced boards in public procurement, and introducing accompanying measured to change attitutes and ways of working in companies and to empower women, and to limit concurrent mandates.

The European Commission’s public consultation is open until 28 May. Both organisations and individuals can reply. Please use the EWL’s reply as a model and submit your own contribution!

Access the public consultation here.

Download the EWL’s response here below:

ewl public consultation wob 23 april 2012 final

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