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Lords Examine Eu Board Diversity Quotas

Academic journal article Manager

Lords Examine Eu Board Diversity Quotas

Article excerpt

The House of Lords EU Sub Committee has questioned a number of experts about whether the number of women sitting on company boards should be an issue for European policymakers.

Witnesses numbered representatives of equality organisations and investment associations, including Dr Annette Lawson OBE, Chair of the National Alliance of Women's Organisations; Liz Murrall, Director of Corporate Governance and Reporting at the Investment Management Association; and Joanne Segars, Chief Executive of the National Association of Pension Funds Ltd. They were asked how engagement with the issue of gender balance varied across EU member states, as well as whether more diverse boards were favoured by investors.

The move follows the launch of an inquiry on the subject in June, as the European Commission considers whether to propose legislative quotas for the number of women on boards. The committee is considering the merits of such a policy in light of both cultural and structural differences in boardrooms across Europe, assessing the impact quotas have already had in some countries and asking how greater gender diversity could otherwise be incentivised.

The committee has also heard from Lord Davies of Abersoch, CBE, who led a review on the subject in 2010, and concluded that although action was necessary, quotas were not. …

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