On the eve of EU announcement on women on boards quotas, the House of Lords debates the issue

Tom Newcombe , 13 Nov 2012


Following last week's publication of the EU Commitees report, Women on Boards, the House of Lords will today be debating the issue of whether the EU should impose quotas on the number of women that businesses must employ at board and executive level.

The Lords Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment EU Sub-Committee made several recommendations in their report, including introducing reporting on the proportion of women at every level of the workforce at a national level and implementing the UK's code of conduct for executive search firms on a voluntary basis across the EU.

The video below shows Baroness O'Cathain, Lords select committee chairman, talking about the issue.

At the debate O'Cathain is expected to say: "More balanced boards are to everybody's benefit and, although the committee welcomes the positive steps already taken by many member states to ensure more gender-balanced boards and senior management teams - particularly in the UK - the number of women at the top remains far too low.

"However, we are not persuaded that the only way to stimulate change is through the introduction of EU quotas.

She will add: "I look forward to this House's debate on the report, as the Committee believes that, by working together in partnership, the Government and the EU can ensure that all of the talent in our jobs market is used to the full, regardless of gender, without the need for imposed quotas." will bring the result of the EU's decision as soon as it is announced on Wednesday.

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