Joint JURI/FEMM hearing on “Women on Boards”  

Press Releases 

MEPs will discuss the latest developments on the Women on Boards directive in the presence of Commissioner Dalli and the German Presidency on Monday afternoon.

The Commission proposal on gender balance among non-executive directors of companies (the so-called “Women on boards” directive), was supported by Parliament in 2013. However due to reservations from several member states, no agreement has been reached in the Council ever since. The proposal had sought to address inequality by requiring that women make up a minimum of 40% of company boards in the private sector by 2020 and by 2018 in the public sector.

MEPs are also expected to hold a debate on the state of play of the directive during the next plenary session (5 -8 October).


Evelyn Regner (S&D, AT), Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality said: "Women in Europe need to have equal chances on all levels. Women on boards are an asset for every company because the most successful companies are those that have a diverse board of directors. Unfortunately, voluntary measures so far had little effect, and the blockage of this important file in the Council for seven years now is delaying this great leap for more women in Europe's executive boards further and further. We will no longer tolerate such a snail's pace in equality measures and urge the Council once more to take up its work again on this important proposal."

Adrián Vázquez Lázara (Renew Europe, ES), Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs said: “Women are at least equally qualified and should enjoy the very same opportunities as men. It is therefore not acceptable that in the European Union the glass ceiling can still exist and prevent women from self-realisation. The glass ceiling must finally be broken into pieces. Things have not changed much since 2012, where the proposal for improving gender balance among directors or listed companies was put forward by the Commission. Women are still strongly under-represented in European companies’ boards, making the need for this directive evident. I thus urge the Council to resume work on this proposal on which Parliament is ready to reach an agreement.”

When: Monday 21 September, 14.00-15.45

Where: European Parliament, Brussels, Antall building (room 4Q1) and remote participation

Speakers: Juliane Seifert, Permanent State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, will make an introductory statement on behalf of the German Presidency, followed by Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality.

Presentations by Linda Senden, Professor of European Law and gender equality expert, Utrecht University Bríd Horan, Co-chair of “Balance for Better Business”), Paivi Jokinen, Chairwoman of “European Women on Boards” and Elke Benning-Rohnke, Vice-president of “Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte (FidAR)” will be followed by a debate with MEPs from JURI and FEMM.

Full programme and link to webstreaming