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Gender Diversity on European Boards: Progresses, Challenges & Best Practices

July 29th 2016

European Women on Boards (EWoB) has published two reports which examine the progress, challenges and best practice regarding women on the Boards of the 600 largest European-listed companies.



Realizing Europe’s Potential: Progress and Challenges

 (Click to enlarge picture) This comprehensive quantitative study, undertaken in association with ISS, examines how gender diversity in European boardrooms has evolved over the last five years. Across Europe as a whole, it finds evidence of improvement in some areas, and challenges in others. It highlights trends occurring at the company, country, and sector levels in respect of the involvement of women in European boardrooms.

A significant role for women in leadership positions is of crucial importance to the future of Europe’s economy. An abundance of evidence shows that balanced and diverse Boards are associated with increased innovation, competitiveness, sustainable growth and a more prosperous society.

The study explores a wide range of data relating to the participation of women in European leadership positions, including their remuneration relative to their male counterparts. In addition, it provides a valuable overview of European regulatory frameworks (e.g. relating to quotas and targets for women on boards) which have played a significant role over the last few years.

Examining the results by country, Sweden tops the table in terms of board gender diversity, followed by Norway, Belgium, Finland and France, where women make up over 30% of board members. The sectors that are top of the class with regards to board gender diversity are the Telecommunications Services, Financials, Utilities, Consumer Staples and Consumer Discretionary sectors.

Download Gender Diversity on European Boards studies

EWoB’s QUANTITATIVE study: Realizing Europe’s Potential: Progress and Challenges (published on 27th April 2016)

Via European Women on Boards

Realising Europe’s Potential: Experiences and Best Practices

 (Click to enlarge picture) In the 42-page qualitative report, 20 of Europe’s most important business and governance leaders provide wide-ranging qualitative perspectives and practical examples of successful gender diversity practices at board and senior executive level to foster awareness and inspire further innovation.

The role of women in leadership positions is of crucial importance to the future of Europe’s economy. The presence of women on the boards of the largest 600 European listed companies has increased from an average of 13.9% to 25% in five years, which shows promising progress has been made. EWoB continues to promote gender equality and diversity in the boardroom, and as underlined by the two reports it has published this year, there is clearly a need to enhance at European level the efficiency of the “market” for board mandates, with corresponding added value in terms of better allocation of talents.

At the report’s launch in Berlin on 7 July, Ms Cécile Coune, EWoB Co-Chairwoman and CEO of Aviabel, highlighted “the breadth and depth of the report and the corporate experiences and best practices that emerged from the discussions with business leaders”. Furthermore, Ms Coune emphasised “the continued relevance and importance of EWoB’s work, especially in continuing to underscore the importance of setting targets for gender diversity in boards, training to avoid unconscious bias, support for flexible working and career breaks for both genders, mentoring programmes, using the online talent pool of board-ready-women, etc”.

Via European Women on Boards

Download Gender Diversity on European Boards studies

EWoB’s QUALITATIVE study: Realizing Europe’s Potential: Experiences and Best Practices (published on 7th July 2016)