Women on boards – new EU report

The European Commission launched a new report on the 14th of October 2013 presenting statistics on the representation of women and men in boards in Europe, “Women and Men in leadership positions in the European Union 2013 – A review of the situation and recent progress. The figures (from April 2013) show that there has been a slight increase of the number of women in decision-making positions in companies, the current figures show that 16.6 % of board-members are women compared to 15.8 % in October 2012.


The report include figures from different countries and shows that the most significant increase reported since 2010, have occurred in France (+ 14.4 pp to reach 26.8 %), in the Netherlands (+ 8.4 pp to reach 23.6 %) and in Italy (+8.7 pp to reach 12.9 %), countries that have all adopted binding legislation to encourage more women in boards.  The countries with the highest number of women in boards are Finland (29.1 %), Latvia (29%), France (26.8%) and Sweden (26.5%).


The report also presents an overview of the current situation of the representation of women and men in decision-making position in politics, public administration and in legal courts. In these fields the representation is more gender balanced even though there is still significant room for improvement.


For more information please read the Mid-term review of the European Commission: “Report on women and men in leadership positions and gender equality strategy mid-term review”.


On the same day as the release of the report, the European Parliaments Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and the Committee on Legal Rights (JURI) voted in favour of the proposal of the European Commission to setting a minimum target of 40% of the underrepresented sex in non-executive board-members in companies in Europe by 2020. The proposal is intended as a temporary measure that would last until 2028. The vote sends a strong message and paves the way in the process of drafting an EU law on this topic.


For more information about the EU Commissions proposal “Women on Boards” please see IP/12/1205 and MEMO/12/860.


In order for the proposal to become a law it needs to be adopted both by the European Parliament and by EU Member states in the Council.


More information: European Commission proposal on “Women on boards”