Women in company boards: an overview One of the issues mostly debated at European level in the area of GE. Women make up 12% of the supervisory boards of the largest publicly listed companies in the EU and 3% of the presidents of boards. Figures vary by country: above 25% female board members in SW and FI while it is below 5% in CY, IT, LU and MT. One in three large companies had no women at all on its board in 2010.
Positive Effects of more Women in European Boards Gender balanced representation of women in decision making positions means a more democratic, and fair society ETUC Resolutions Better use of female talent pool 60% of university graduates in the EU are women Positive economic effects between diversity in boards and company performance several EU studies
Women in company boards: EU initiatives EU Commission ◦“Women on the Board Pledge for Europe”, March 2011. ◦Monitoring progress. In March 2012 the EC will assess whether further measures are needed. EU Parliament ◦Report “Women and business leadership” adopted on 6 July 2011. MEP urges EC to propose legislation including quotas by 2012. ETUC ◦Lunch with Commissioner Reading + EU SPs to discuss participation of women in company boards (May 2011) ◦Response to consultation on the Green Paper on an EU Framework for Corporate Governance (July 2011).
Women in company boards: ongoing developments Five EU countries + 2 EEA countries have so far introduced legislative quotas to increase the number of women in business leadership. ◦40%: ES, FR, NO, IS ◦30%: BE, NL,IT Other member states implement a voluntary approach to promote gender balance in boards. ◦DK, FI, DE, PT, SW, UK Info missing for: AT, BG,CY, CZ, EE, GR, IE, LV, LT, LU, MT, HU, PL, RO, SL, SV.
QUESTIONS FOR DEBATE What are the barriers to increasing the number of women in company boards? How can we overcome these barriers and achieve sustainable progress within a reasonable timeframe? How can gender balance on the boards of listed companies be improved at EU level?