In the UK, the House of Lords EU Sub Committee B on Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment has published, on 15 June 2012, a call for evidence on the recent European Commission's public consultation on gender imbalance on corporate boards.

The European Commission consultation, which closed on 28 May 2012, followed the publication of a progress report entitled "Women in economic decision-making in the EU" by Vice-President of the Commission, Viviane Reding, on 5 March 2012.  The consultation considered policy options to improve the gender balance in the boards of companies listed on stock exchanges, including legislative measures, and sought comments on a number of questions, including for example on how effective self-regulation by businesses could be to address the issue of gender imbalance in corporate boards in the EU, and what additional action should be taken to address the issue of gender imbalance. The Commission is to make a decision on possible measures later this year.

The UK call for evidence refers to the European Commission's consultation and asks, among other questions, whether the issue of improving gender imbalance on corporate boards is an issue which should be dealt with at EU level or by national governments and whether the issue is best addressed by a voluntary approach or by central regulation.  It also considers the question of legislative quotas, their impact where already implemented, and their positive and negative effects.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is 10 July 2012.

For a link to the call for evidence, please click here