Renew Europe welcomes the long-awaited unblocking of the Women on Boards Directive

Author: Caroline Rhawi

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Gender Equality week

After a decade-long wait, EU Member States today adopted their position on the so-called 'Women on Boards' Directive, legislation that seeks to make company boardrooms more gender-balanced. Renew Europe strongly welcomes this move while expressing disappointment over the delay caused by the European Council.

Ten years have passed since the Commission put forward their proposal, and during that period, the enhancement of women's participation in board rooms has been too modest. In 2022, women still only account for 30% of board members in the Union's largest listed companies. But with today's progress on the directive, the EU is moving forward to make sure that women in the future are better represented at the executive decision-making level.

MEP Samira Rafaela, Renew Europe's coordinator in the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee and co-negotiator on the legislation, said:

"What a milestone. For a long time, we thought it would be impossible to unblock this file in the Council. Equal treatment means an equal say. All women in Europe deserve the equal opportunity to rise to the top of companies. Our economy is getting more modern and more diverse. Companies need to reflect this. Women on Boards Directive ensures more opportunities and a bigger say for women. It will make women in influential positions more visible and this will inspire the next generation. They will get the role models they deserve."

Following this move, the European Parliament's Gender Equality and Legal Affairs committees will re-endorse their mandate to enter into inter-institutional negotiations on Wednesday. Renew Europe urges swift and devoted cooperation between the Council and European Parliament to finally make this new legislation a reality.