Euro plans for female quotas moves closer

Kasmira Jefford
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VINCE Cable’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) yesterday spoke out after European politicians backed a draft bill that would ensure that women occupy 40 per cent of non-executive board seats on listed-firms.

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the draft law to make boards of European quoted companies two-fifths female by 2020.

The British government has been strongly opposed to the controversial plan, which still needs to be voted on next year by the Council of Ministers, made up of the 28 member states.

“We believe that a business led, voluntary approach is the best way to get more women on the boards of our top companies and this approach is working,” a BIS spokesperson said yesterday.

“It should be up to individual EU countries to adopt their own approach at a national level – it shouldn’t be imposed from Brussels as business structures and cultures vary widely across Europe,” he said.

Speaking in favour of the quota yesterday Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP for London, said: “Today’s vote represents a great leap forward in our efforts to break through the glass ceiling – a Europe-wide commitment to end the ‘old school tie’ network and move from boy’s club to boardroom.”