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European Boards Make Gender Equity Gains

  • May 2015

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Perspectives – European Boards Make Gender Equity Gains

Germany’s new law mandating gender quotas on corporate boards makes it the latest European country attempting to force change, an approach contrasted with U.S. boards’ voluntary initiatives. “The United States for many years was ahead of Europe with regard to gender diversity, and Europe has closed the gap quickly,” Charles Gray, leader of Egon Zehnder’s U.S. Diversity and Inclusion Council, told Perspectives magazine, published by the American Bar Association. The publication cited statistics from the 2014 Egon Zehnder European Board Diversity Analysis, which found that female representation on large European company boards has jumped to 20.3 percent from 15.6 percent in 2012 and 8 percent in 2004. European boards are now in line with those in the United States, where women comprise 21.2 percent of large company board seats. “It’s too early to tell if the United States is stuck,” Gray said. “What I will say is that Americans are inherently competitive. So if Europe does pass the United States, American companies will focus on this even more.”

Read the full article: G.M. Filisko: European Boards Make Huge Gender Equity Gains, in Perspectives (Spring 2015).

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