Yesterday it was announced that the anticipated vote on the introduction of a Europe-wide quota for women on company boards has been postponed until 14 November 2012 in order to give commissioners more time to reach consensus.
The proposal, as it currently stands, calls for the implementation of an European Union (EU) Directive requiring 40% female representation on the boards of publicly-traded companies by 2020.
Several EU member states including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have already introduced gender quotas for company boards, while other countries have insisted on gender balance on the boards of state-owned companies. However the UK and some other states are opposed to the compulsory nature of the proposals, arguing instead for voluntary targets.
In light of the opposition, it is anticipated that the proposal will be watered down ahead of further discussions in November.