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EU Commission proposes 40% ‘women on boards’ objective

The EU Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive, the aim of which is to substantially increase the presence of women on corporate boards throughout the EU by setting a minimum objective of 40% by 2020 for women to be non-executive members of the board of listed companies. Where lower than 40% exists, companies will be obliged to consider making appointments on the basis of a comparative analysis of the qualifications of each candidate, by applying pre-established, clear, neutrally formulated and unambiguous criteria, in order to meet the objective. The Commission's proposal will now pass to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union for consideration under the normal legislative procedure. The Government has welcomed the decision not to impose mandatory quotas for women on boards and will work with other Member States to ensure the final Directive supports the creation of diverse and effective boards.

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