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House of Lords to investigate why proportion of women on boards is 'so low'

The founder of the 30% Club and CEO of Newton Investment Management, Helena Morrissey, will give evidence to the House of Lords Committee looking at gender balance on company boards this afternoon (23 July).

The House of Lords EU Sub Committee responsible for looking at EU employment issues will ask why current proportions of women on boards are so low, how the drive for more women on boards can be sustained, and what needs to be done to tackle the problem of "stubbornly low" numbers of female executive directors.

The Committee will also ask what role the EU has in this process: in particular, whether quotas at an EU level should be taken forward, and whether quotas in other EU Member States are causing talented women to be lost to companies overseas.

After questioning Helena Morrissey, the Committee will hear evidence from the president of the European Women's Lobby (EWL), Sonja Lokar. The Committee will ask her why the EWL believes that quotas can deliver sustainable change and how she responds to the accusation that quotas can be seen as patronising to female directors.

She will also be asked whether there are advantages in a common European approach to gender diversity, and what form such an approach should take.

Helena Morrissey will give evidence at 4.05pm, followed immediately by Sonja Lokar at 5.00pm. The evidence sessions will take place on Monday 23 July in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at www.parliamentlive.tv.

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