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Quotas for women on boards?

The Lords EU Sub-Committee on the Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment will conclude its inquiry on gender diversity in the boardroom on Monday when it questions Jo Swinson MP.

In the last evidence session of its inquiry, the Minister for Women [DCMS] and Employment Relations [BIS] will face questions from the Committee on the role of the EU in improving gender diversity in Britain's boardrooms, and in particular how the Government would respond to quotas emerging from Brussels.

Jo Swinson MP was a Member of the Speaker's Conference which looked at increasing diversity in Parliament. The Committee will ask what can be learned from this exercise, and whether lessons on political diversity can be applied to corporate boards.

The Committee is also likely to question the Minister on issues such as:

  • Is there a link between the percentage of women on boards and financial performance?
  • How will the Government work to develop a pipeline of women to take on executive and board positions? How radical will they be in doing so?
  • How will the UK deliver sustainable change in the boardroom? What happens next if voluntary approaches fail to do so?

The Committee will now review all written and oral evidence it has received, and is expected to report on the matter in November.

The evidence session will take place at 4pm on Monday 15 October in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at

The evidence session is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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