Landmark deal reached for women on company boards in Europe


"From now on, gender balance on company boards must be the rule and not just something to hope for. There was the feeling that we were on the verge of accomplishing a landmark for gender equality in the EU and, thankfully, our expectations were met", said Maria Graça Carvalho MEP, the EPP Group's negotiator of the proposed Directive on gender balance among non-executive Directors of companies listed on stock exchanges.

This evening (Tues), the representatives of the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council reached a deal which will pave the way to the adoption of a new EU law. This Women on Boards Directive is meant to increase gender balance on corporate boards of publicly listed companies in the EU to ensure the fair representation of women on the boards of private companies. Namely, it will oblige Member States to guarantee either a 40% target of non-executive Directors held by members of the under-represented sex or 33% for all board members by the end of June 2026.

"Women have been waiting for this decision for 10 years - finally their expectations have been met. Women can't and won't wait this long again - gender equality must be at the heart of everything we do. This will set an example for all other fields, including politics. We need women at every table where a decision is being made”, Carvalho stated.

Describing a recent meeting in the framework of the negotiations with President von der Leyen, attended by the representatives from most political families in the European Parliament, Mrs Carvalho pointed out: “I was honoured and moved to see Vivian Reading, the former Vice-President of the European Commission, who started this process over a decade ago, taking part there. Her presence was an inspiration to us all. I believe the EPP deserves credit for the support given to the advancement of this Directive."

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The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States

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