EU announces mandatory 40% gender representation in boardroom

EU announces mandatory 40% gender representation in boardroom

On May 31, 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addresses the closing press conference of an EU summit on Ukraine, defense and energy in Brussels. Under new rules to be introduced in June 2026, large companies in the European Union could be fined and face having board appointments canceled because they don't include enough women in their boardrooms.

Companies with more than 250 employees will be required to have 40 percent of what is described as the underrepresented sex among their nonexecutive directors, with a 33 percent target in all senior positions.

This is a great day for women in Europe, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. It's a great day for companies. The new rules state that companies that do not meet the target must prioritize the one that is underrepresented when faced with two equally qualified candidates of different sexes.

A failure to meet targets must be reported and explained, with steps taken to remedy the situation.

Appointments must be transparent and transparent with decisions on applicants based on merits.

The announcement of the new legally binding targets ends a 10 year debate over the issue and was welcomed by von der Leyen. It is high time we break the glass ceiling after 10 years since the European Commission proposed this directive. She said that there are plenty of women qualified for top jobs and they should be able to get them.

The 40 percent proposal was first put forward in 2012, but was opposed by several bigger countries, including the United Kingdom, which has backed voluntary measures and has since gone on to become one of the most equal-represented countries in Europe, with 39.1 percent of women sitting on boards of the country's biggest companies in 2022.

Women in the 27 member bloc occupied 30.6 percent of boardroom positions last year, but the figures differed from country to country, with 18 EU member states currently having no legislation around the issue at all.

France leads the way with 45.3 percent, ahead of Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Germany, all of which had recorded between 36 and 38 percent of female boardroom representation, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality.