Harkin welcomes EU initiative for female representation on company boards

Independent MEP Marian Harkin MEP this week expressed her delight that MEPs have agreed a roadmap to ensure more women take their place on company boards in the European Union.

Speaking from the European Parliament, Harkin argued that: “This initiative - proposed by the European Commission, and today (Tuesday ) ratified by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament - will ensure that EU companies must have 40 per cent of women in director positions by 1 January 2020, and in some cases even earlier.

“The sanctions applicable to companies who do not comply with the legislation are sufficiently dissuasive and progressive and will ensure transparency in companies' recruitment, selection and appointment procedures.

“Furthermore I am happy to see that these measures have been targeted where they are needed most - at larger, listed, companies. We have excluded SMEs from the scope of the legislation, which in my view is a sensible approach.”

Harkin, who has been a supporter of the 50/50 campaign in the European Parliament for many years, concluded that: “I hope that today's decision will give fresh impetus to the campaign to achieve gender parity not only in the private sector but also in the European institutions.

“It is incumbent upon the EU institutions - including MEPs - to live up to the ideals and standards enshrined in this legislation. We must 'walk the walk' as well as 'talk the talk,'” the Independent MEP concluded.

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