Lords debate Women on Boards report

13 November 2012

Following last week’s publication of the EU Committee’s report, Women on Boards, the House of Lords will be debating the issue of whether the EU should impose quotas on the number of women businesses must employ at board and executive level, on Tuesday 13 November.

The debate will take place on the eve of the EU’s expected announcement of legislation to tackle gender inequality in the corporate world.

The Lords Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment EU Sub-Committee made several recommendations in their report including introducing reporting on the proportion of women at every level of the workforce at a national level and implementing the UK’s code of conduct for executive search firms on a voluntary basis across the EU.

Baroness O’Cathain, the Sub-Committee's chairman, said:

"More balanced boards are to everybody’s benefit and, although the Committee welcomes the positive steps already taken by many Member States to ensure more gender-balanced boards and senior management teams – particularly in the UK – the number of women at the top remains far too low. However, we are not persuaded that the only way to stimulate change is through the introduction of EU quotas.

I look forward to this House’s debate on the report, as the Committee believes that, by working together in partnership, the Government and the EU can ensure that all of the talent in our jobs market is used to the full, regardless of gender, without the need for imposed quotas."

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