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EU NEWS: Corporate Gender Quotas by 2012?

Saturday, 02 October 2010 15:03

On September 21st, 2010 Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner responsible for Justice when launching the five year ‘gender equality strategy’ of the European Commission commented that women only represented one from every ten members sitting on the Board of Directors of the leading public listed companies in the EU, hinting at a possible initiative in the near future for the introduction of corporate gender quotas on the European scenario.

Statistics in Member States show that women make up almost half of the work force and more than half of the University graduates ... and yet, women do not seem to make it even to the senior corporate management levels let alone to board level. It is interesting to point out that way back in 2004 Norway had introduced a forty per centum (40%) quota to have more women sitting on Boards of Directors.

Criticising the lack of progress achieved so far on gender equality, Commissioner Reding has identified various issues on her agenda for the next five years including addressing gender equality on the labour market particularly at senior management level so that women would be able to participate in the economic decision making process, promoting more self employment and entrepreneurship for women, getting more women in the labour market, reaching the European 2020 target employment rate of seventy five per centum (75%) overall for both women and men as well as the introduction of a ‘European Equal Pay Day’ on the calendar to raise awareness about the fact that in the EU women earn approximately eighteen per centum (18%) less than men.

Malta has compared extremely well, in fact fifth best, with other Member States on gender equal pay.