Getting Women on Board
Gender equality has been a key principle of the EU ever since the Treaty of Rome introduced the principle of equal pay for men and women in 1957. 55 years later, with 13 directives on gender equality since the 1970s, we still need to try harder to get women at the very top – on boards. From maritime affairs to trade, from government jobs to corporate jobs, women are still the unrepresented sex on both executive and non-executive boards throughout Europe.
It is for this reason that I believe that a coordinated action is necessary at EU level to get women on boards. And a Commission proposal that sets a 40% target for women on non-executive boards by 2020 comes at the right time. It is evident that change is already taking place in some countries on this issue. 11 Member States and Norway have already adopted their own national legal solutions to get women on boards. But the reality is that change is happening slowly and inconsistently across Europe. The rate of annual increase is 0.6%, and women still represent 13.5% of board members (8.9% of executive and 15% of non-executive members). Read more and comment on Maria Damanaki's blog