Launch of a searchable database of Board Ready Women: extracts from the press conference by Viviane REDING, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EP
End production: 12/12/2012 First transmission: 12/12/2012
On 12 December, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, and Candace Johnson, CEO EDHC, presented the launch of a searchable database of Board Ready Women.
Today the European Business Schools Women on Boards Initiative is migrating their 'Global Board Ready Women' list of 8 000 women into an online database. The women on this list all fulfil stringent criteria for Corporate Governance as defined by publicly listed companies and are well qualified and ready to go on boards as of today. This ever growing list of "Board Ready Women" – which will now be consultable online for corporations and for executive search companies – makes it clear that there are more than enough eminently qualified women to help lead Europe’s and the world’s corporations into the 21st century and that it is now time to shatter the glass ceiling that keeps these women from ascending to board of directors positions.
In November 2012 the European Commission proposed legislation to improve gender balance on company boards based on merit and qualification. The proposed Directive sets a minimum objective of 40% by 2020 for members of the under-represented sex for non-executive members of the boards of publicly listed companies in Europe, or 2018 for listed public undertakings.
The proposal also includes, as a complementary measure, a "flexi quota": an obligation for listed companies to set themselves individual, self-regulatory targets regarding the representation of both sexes among executive directors to be met by 2020 (or 2018 in case of public undertakings).
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Viviane Reding, EC Vice-President in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, arriving
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Viviane Reding: Because despite numerous attempts at self regulation, we still have an effective 85% male quota on the boards of Europe's largest companies while women only make 15 %. Now this is a shocking waste of talent when you consider that 60% of University graduates are female. And the figures are not improving on their own. This is why the Commission is talking action and this is why I have proposed a law that will make sure that we will get 40% of women in supervisory boards by 2020. If the company does not have 40% of women on its supervisory board, priority must be given to the qualified female candidates and if companies does not comply with this, they will face sanctions.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Candace Johnson, CEO EDHC: For us it is not a question of if, it is a question of how and that is why we have some together to make this global board women searchable data base to set the criteria and that the business schools are offering training and courses for some women who may have had incredible experiences but have never sat on a board.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Viviane Reding: Although there are some Member Sates but a very small minority which is not very happy with this proposal. I would say that a majority of the Member Sates thinks that it is an interesting and positive and constructive way to go. They are going to start the work now on the elements of the proposal and then I know also that the EU has just nominated also the reporters and the care takers in the different political groups. So that from an proposal of the Commission, the law makers, the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers will start to work together.
||Cutaway of the audience and speakers leving (2 shots)