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Corporate gender equality quotas a step closer

Corporate gender equality
quotas a step closer

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has indicated that she will consider calling for quotas requiring businesses to hire more women in senior posts if a meeting next year with the chiefs of European companies fails to produce the required results. This is part of the EU Commission’s five year gender equality strategy to increase equality in senior positions.

In its new five-year gender equality strategy, launched on 21st September 2010, the European Commission identified increasing equality in the economy, labour market and senior positions, tackling gender violence and promoting equality beyond the EU as its priorities.

Commissioner Viviane Reding is quoted as saying “I have not been an advocate of quotas for women in senior business posts in the past, but given the lack of progress in this area, we might in the future have to consider taking initiatives at the European level.  Depending on the outcome of this dialogue with industry, I will consider whether further initiatives will be necessary in 2012”. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Mervyn Davies, head of the British Government’s inquiry into gender inequality, said the UK is also considering adopting quotas as a “last resort” if a better gender balance in listed companies is not reached through less direct measures. 

October 2010

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