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European Union agrees to 40% quotas for women on company boards to boost gender equality

European Union negotiators agreed on Tuesday evening (June 7) the first-ever quota for women on corporate boards, aimed at boosting gender equality in the bloc of 450 million people, officials said. lawmakers, reported by Reuters.

The rule requires all listed companies in 27 European Union member countries to have at least 40% women in non-executive positions, 33% in executive and non-executive positions by mid-2026.

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The proposal had been dormant for a decade, but it regained momentum this year with new backing from France and Germany.

However, there is no penalty for missing the target, companies that achieve it will be praised by the public. After the final round of negotiators and EU member states, the liberal Renew faction in parliament said it would increase pressure to comply.

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Representation of women on corporate boards varies considerably from country to country, with women occupying only 9% of non-executive seats in Estonia and more than 45% in France. The latter has set its own target of 40% and is the only country to achieve it, reports Reuters.

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According to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), an agency of the European Union, which said these enforceable quotas have proven to be more effective in improving board balance than countries that have adopted weaker or no measures.

According to the report, France, Germany and Italy have set national targets for the year 2010, the representation of women in the boards of the EU has increased. However, progress has slowed recently, with women making up less than a third of non-executive board members of the union’s trading companies.

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