It was reported that the EU is considering requiring listed companies with 250 or more employees to have 40% of their non-executive or supervisory board directorships filled by women by 2020.  Companies that fail to meet the quota may face fines or other sanctions.  However, as yet the plans have not been published, so the details remain unclear.

In the UK, the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee announced an inquiry into women in the workplace.  The committee is calling for evidence on matters such as:

  • Whether the Equality Act goes far enough in tackling gender inequality in the workplace;
  • What steps could be taken to improve pay transparency;
  • How gender stereotyping in industries such as banking and engineering can be tackled;
  • How part-time working can be promoted at all levels within the workplace; and
  • Whether the recommendations in the "Women on Boards" report published in 2011 have been acted upon and whether the voluntary code of conduct for executive search firms in relation to board level appointments has been successful.

Submissions are invited by 5 October 2012.