Ireland backs EU target for 33pc women on board


Ireland is backing a European Union move to make listed companies with at least 33 women female by 2027.

The raft rules are nearing completion after Germany reversed longstanding objections to the plan and opened the way for negotiations with the MEP.

Monday’s deal saw nearly 20 EU countries back the move, clearing a 10-year stalemate.

The past decade has seen particular opposition from Nordic countries that have long achieved gender equality goals but who feel Brussels has exceeded its mandate.

While Denmark currently supports the draft, Sweden opposes it on the grounds that the makeup of company boards “is not decided at EU level”, according to Deputy Employment Minister Johan Danielsson, who spoke at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

As a rule, listed companies whose boards are represented by less than 33 percent female – or 40 percent for non-executive directors – will have to prioritize women when choosing between candidates. equally qualified for future positions.

The numbers are not quotas but targets, the EU insists, with governments allowed to choose between 33pc and 40pc measures.

Countries that have national goals or have made progress towards them – like Ireland – can suspend the rules.

Ireland’s 20 largest listed companies have an average female representation of 32pc on their boards, while the remaining 19 listed companies have 22pc, according to figures released last week by morning Balance for Better Business is an industry leader.

This number has almost doubled since 2018, when the initiative was first set up.

However, progress in appointing women to the positions of president or chief executive officer has been slow.

Boards of companies in the EU had an average of 35 per cent female representation last year, the European Women group said. Only 9pc of companies surveyed have female seats.

“Ireland has a compelling business case for better gender balance in business leadership,” said EU Deputy Ambassador to Ireland Barbara Cullinane on Monday.

Fine Gael MEP Frances Fitzgerald welcomed the deal and said the “economic evidence” for gender diversity was clear, with the IMF estimating that adding a woman to the management or board of directors was linked related to asset yields 8–13 basis points higher.

“In the 10 years since the European Commission introduced this proposal, we have seen minimal advancement of women on corporate boards,” she said.

“We need this directive now to ensure that women can be well represented at the executive decision-making level in business, and thus provide more opportunities for businesses to succeed.” Ireland backs EU target for 33pc women on board

Fry Electronics Team

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