Women in boardrooms by 2020
Gender equality has failed to reach the board room: last year women held only 15% of non-executive board seats. However, this could soon change thanks to new rules backed by MEPs on October 14 requiring companies to have boards with at least 40% women. State-owned firms will need to do so by 2018, while all EU publicly-listed private companies will have until 2020.
According to the proposal backed by the women's rights and legal affairs committees, the new rules will apply to all publicly-listed companies, even those where women make up less than 10% of the workforce. Small and medium-sized companies will be exempt.
Companies that fail to reach the target by 2020 will have to explain why to national authorities. If they have not followed transparent and open appointment procedures, they face penalties, such as being excluded from public calls for tender.