The European Commission has launched a consultation (on 5 March 2012) regarding possible EU action to deal with the current gender imbalance on corporate boards within the EU. The Commission is concerned that little progress has been made in this area. The Commission is seeking comments on a number of issues, including the following:
- which types of companies should be covered by the initiative and whether it should apply to all categories of directors (executive and non-executive);
- the percentage of available board positions that women should occupy; and
- the effectiveness of self-regulation and whether additional forms of action should be taken.
Comments are requested by 28 May 2012. The Commission will decide what further action to take (and this may include legislation) later in the year.
In the meantime, the UK Government continues to encourage companies to deal with this issue by voluntary means.
European Commission: consultation on gender imbalance in corporate boards in the EU available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/gender-equality/opinion/ files/120528/28051_consultation_questions_en.doc