A year after European Union justice chief Viviane Reding warned European companies that the level of representation by women on their boards was unacceptable, she may press for legislation to compel action. She said that she was disappointed in their lack of progress.
Bloomberg reported Monday that Reding had set a deadline of March 2012 for companies to boost the number of women on their boards from a 2010 level of 12%–only 3% serving as board chairs–to 30% in 2015 and 40% by 2020. If companies failed to take action, she had warned that legislation could be drafted to compel them to do so.
She was quoted saying, “I have been very disappointed because there have been a lot of nice words and very few deeds … the companies last year told me ‘we will do that by ourselves.’”
Only 24 companies even signed the pledge to increase female representation on their boards, despite the fact that Spain has a 2015 target of 40% and France passed a law to require 20% female presence on boards by 2014 and 40% by 2017 for companies employing at least 500 people and with annual sales of 50 million euros ($66 million).