City women slam EU plans to slap gender quotas on boards

Ben Southwood
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BRITISH businesswomen and City figures yesterday lined up to oppose European Commission vice-president Viviane Reding’s plan to impose EU gender quotas on UK businesses.

Helena Morrissey, who founded the 30 Per Cent Club, which aims to put more women in boardrooms and was a nominee for City A.M.’s personality of the year award, rubbished the idea.

“Quotas are not only unnecessary but actually undermine the very equality the pro-quota lobby seeks,” Morrissey said.

“There is already a radical shift in the mindset of business leaders about what makes a good corporate board – and that includes, but is not limited to, having a better gender balance,” she added, pointing to the fact that 55 per cent of new FTSE 100 non-executive appointments since March have been women.

Marianne Fallon of KPMG told City A.M. that better measures exist.

“To address the culture and mindset of an organisation, targets are much more appropriate, and have pushed the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards up from 12.5 per cent in 2010 to 16.7 per cent now,” she said.

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