MEPs approached the introduction of quotas for women in company management
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The proposal envisages that by July 2026, all large companies whose shares are traded on the stock exchange must increase the proportion of the underrepresented gender – the overwhelming majority of which are women – in the company’s governing bodies. Specifically, it should be at least 40 percent in the supervisory board or non-executive members of the board or 33 percent of all members.

“The adoption of the Women on Boards Directive ten years after its proposal is an important step forward in achieving gender equality. We are finally giving women a fair chance to reach the top positions in companies and we are improving company management,” said one of the rapporteurs of the proposal, MEP Evelyn Regnerová.

The first submission of the proposal for the directive dates back to 2012. However, the proposal was blocked in the European Council for about ten years, until this June, the situation was unfrozen after a series of negotiations.

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MEPs promise from the draft that selection procedures will be more transparent, as decisions will be made based on the quality of the applicant, not gender. Companies will also have to annually publish the numbers of women and men in their management and supervisory bodies.

“Women are innovative, smart, strong and can do many things. We are removing one of the main barriers to women reaching the ‘top positions’, the informal male network. From now on, in the selection process, competence will matter more than ever before, as well as transparency,” added Regnerová.

In 2021, the share of women in the management of large listed companies in the European Union was only 30.6 percent.

The directive will now be formally approved jointly by the European Parliament and the European Council. If passed, member states will have to implement these rules within two years. The obligation will not apply to small and medium-sized companies with fewer than 250 employees that are listed on the stock exchange.

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