Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, hails breakthrough, but critics question whether compulsory targets are the best way forward

Businesswomen in the EU have moved a step closer to greater representation in the boardroom after the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved proposals to make large companies fill 40 per cent of their non-executive board posts with women. 

The EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, hailed “the first cracks in the glass ceiling” but critics question whether compulsory targets are the best way for women to finally smash through, and Britain is expected to oppose the new rules.

Dismayed by figures showing that men make up more than 85 per cent of non-executive board members in the Europe Union, Ms Reding last year proposed mandatory quotas to boost the representation of women at high levels of business.

Her plans to redress the boardroom imbalance by requiring large, listed companies to give 40 per cent of non-executive board seats to women by 2020 provoked criticism in some countries, with British officials arguing that such policy matters were best left up to national governments.

But support for the principle of quotas has been gathering pace this year. The European Central Bank – stung by criticism that all 23 members of its governing council are men – announced in August that it aims to have 28 per cent of senior management positions filled by women by 2019.

Earlier this week, Germany’s biggest political parties agreed to implement national quotas of at least 30 per cent of women filling board posts by 2016.

Read the Full Article: Source – The Independent

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