Women on boards - Lords to question Lord Davies and Government officials

22 June 2012

The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee investigating gender balance in the boardroom will question the Gender Equalities Office (GEO), the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), and Lord Davies of Abersoch on Monday 25 June.

In the first evidence session of the Committee’s current inquiry, the Committee will question witnesses about the case for EU involvement in gender diversity policies, and the point at which the Government would consider legislative intervention to be necessary. The GEO and BIS will be asked about benefits of a UK-style voluntary, business-led approach rather than legislative intervention, as well as whether governance reforms could achieve better boardroom gender balance.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, whose report Women on Boards argues against quotas in the UK, will face questions about whether the approach he proposes – with voluntary targets and business engagement – can and should be EU level. He will also be asked how EU Member States can be encouraged to engage with the issue at hand, in the process overcoming varying European corporate cultures to make diversity an integral part of policy and practice in the area.

At 4.05pm, the Committee will question Government officials from:

  • Gender Equalities Office - Helene Reardon-Bond, Head of Gender Equality Policy & Inclusion, and Jonathan Rees, Director General
  • BIS - Caroline Normand, Deputy Director for Corporate Governance, and Helen Whitehead, Assistant Director

Immediately following, at 5.00pm, Lord Davies of Abersoch will give evidence to the Committee.

The evidence sessions will take place on Monday 25 June in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at www.parliamentlive.tv.