EWL News

European Commission publishes fact sheet on gender balance on corporate boards

[Brussels, 21 March 2013] The European Commission published this month a fact sheet entitled “Europe is cracking the glass ceiling” on the development of the representation of women on the boards of listed companies in the European Union.

After having been adopted by the European Parliament in November last year, the directive proposal has been sent to the Council of Ministers, who is currently discussing it. The fact sheet shows that the representation of women on non-executive company boards (supervisory boards) in the European Union is increasing four times faster now than it had been the case before 2010 (by average 2,0pp per year instead of 0,55pp), but it shows as well that this trend is mainly due to some Member States that have already introduced national legislative action, like for example France and Italy. The impact therefore stays limited; the Member States do not take the possibility of increasing the number of women in economic leadership positions before European legislation forces them to do so. The EWL calls since many years for binding measures including effective sanctions as they proved to be the catalyst for an equal representation of women and men on supervisory boards (click here to read the EWL report women on boards in Europe from a snails face to a giant leap).

These findings confirm the European Women’s Lobby’s opinion that active policies from the EU are needed and reminds therefore the European Member States, when voting soon on the draft European directive “improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures” through the Council of Ministers, of their commitment to the fundamental European value, gender equality, enshrined in the European Treaties since 1957, reaffirmed with the Treaty of Lisbon and the binding Charta of Fundamental Rights, as well as through various forms of soft law like for example the Women’s Charta and the Strategies for Equality between Women and Men.

For more details and country specific data please find the factsheet here.

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