European & International News

Vice-president and European Commissioner Vivian Reding: I will implement Quota

[Simone Brummelhuis from, 17 October 2011]
“I started life as a political journalist in a time when women were supposed to write about gardening, cooking and social parties. I then became a politician, because I had already a following through my readership. I changed things and became a role model for many female journalists who wanted to get into serious writing.” These are the words of Vice-president and European commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, Viviane Reding, as she is thinking ahead.

In March 2012 she is going to take legal measures to increase the number of women on boards, unless the market proves itself.

The Next Women spoke with Vivian Reding during the Women’s Forum in Deauville. Talking about the focus of her leadership the coming year she says: “We are taking a close look at women as decision makers and in particular women on boards. In Europe I see 12% women on supervisory boards and 3% as chairs of those boards. And these percentages increase only by 0.5% per year. It’s ridiculous.”

Vivian Reding: “There are economic reasons this must change. The reports from McKinsey, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are all proof of the need to change. They conclude that companies with a diverse board and workforce:

  • have a 35% higher return on equity
  • have a 56% higher perational profit
  • and it will provide a job increase of untapped potential of 13% in the eurozone”

She continues: “60% of the University graduates are women. We don’t find them represented in the workforce. And we are runing out of talent.”

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