Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Factbox-Women's quotas on company boards: The EU's frontrunners and laggards

Stock MarketsJan 14, 2022 10:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 7, 2022. Michel Euler/Pool via REUTERS

By Sabine Siebold

(Reuters) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is making a new push at boosting women's representation on company boards, trying to unblock European legislation for a women's quota that has been stuck since 2012.

Germany has been among those EU countries resisting a quota, arguing the matter should be settled at a national level, but the new government in Berlin is now taking a fresh look at it.

Following are some facts on the proposed legislation and the state of play in the bloc regarding gender balance in top corporate positions.

WHAT IS THE LEGAL PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE?

In 2012, the European Union's executive proposed that listed companies in the bloc must fill at least 40% of non-executive board seats with women. The target would be reached by giving priority to the candidate of the under-represented sex when equally qualified persons apply for the same job.

The proposed directive does not set out sanctions, but companies not achieving the goal would have to explain why and spell out what steps they will take to meet the target.

The proposed directive does not apply to firms with fewer than 250 employees or to unlisted companies. It would affect some 2,300 companies in the EU, according to estimates.

WHAT'S HOLDING UP THE LEGISLATION?

A majority of 18 of the 27 EU countries support the directive, but that is not enough for the super majority needed for approval.

Eight countries - Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Slovakia - have opposed the proposal, arguing the issue should be regulated at a national level.

Under former Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany sided with this group, but the new government says it will take a fresh look at the issue. Should Berlin drop its opposition, it would tip the balance in favour of the legislation, experts say.

NATIONAL QUOTAS SO FAR

Eight EU countries have adopted national mandatory gender quotas for listed companies (Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Greece, the Netherlands).

Ten have taken a softer approach, using a range of measures and initiatives (Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden).

Nine countries have not taken substantial action (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Slovakia).

FRONTRUNNER FRANCE

France has the strongest representation of women in the boardrooms of the biggest listed companies at 45.3%, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), against a 30.6% average for the EU as a whole.

THE EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS

Starting from a similar level of around 13% in 2011 across the EU member states, the share of women on company boards has risen

- to 36.4% in countries that adopted laws to promote more women to top positions

- to 30.3% in countries taking soft measures

- to 16.6% in countries that have taken no action, according to the EIGE.

Factbox-Women's quotas on company boards: The EU's frontrunners and laggards
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Oldfashioned Owl
Oldfashioned Owl Jan 14, 2022 11:03AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Is this progress? Why someone needs quota when everyone is equal?
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email