Sunday 11 August 2013 10:00 pm

Top financial firms face EU gender quotas for their boards

CITY financial firms will be forced to set targets for the number of men and women holding roles within their management bodies from January onwards, as the UK’s financial watchdog prepares to implement European reforms.
Around 2,400 investment companies regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority will have to lay out in writing next year how many men and women they are trying to appoint to boardroom positions, to satisfy new EU rules that are being made into UK law, according to employment law experts.  
Pinsent Masons partner Linda Jones said it was the first time a regulatory requirement to set gender targets for management bodies had been imposed on UK companies.
“The regulations will not prescribe what the targets should be, but they will have to be published and businesses will no doubt be wary of publishing targets that seem too lacking in ambition,” she said. 
Firms will also have to publish a diversity policy laying out how they intend to create a balanced workplace. 
Regulators are currently consulting on how to transpose the rules, known as  CRD IV, into law.
The coalition is pushing businesses to fill 25 per cent of their board seats with women by 2015, or face mandatory quotas.