CMI reacts to EU decision to drop plans for gender quotas

Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 10:52
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has welcomed reports that the EU Commission has decided against bringing forward mandatory quotas for the number of women on company boards.

Ann Francke, CMI's Chief Executive, said:

"The under-representation of women in British boardrooms has to change, and fast, but the introduction of quotas in law is not the right way to do it. Women managers do not want to sneak into the boardroom after forcing the door with a legal crow-bar.  The door should be thrown open to welcome them, because the evidence shows that more gender-diverse boards perform better.

"Companies need to step up the pace of change that we have seen since Lord Davies' report. They also need to fix the talent pipeline to make sure more women reach senior management jobs. Data published by CMI and XpertHR last week showed that women make up 69% of the junior executive workforce, but only 24% of chief executives. Too many women are leaking out of the talent pipeline, which means that companies are missing out on the full range of management potential at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to boost economic growth. Recent Government proposals for companies to report on the number of women in senior management roles could actually be a more effective way of driving change than quotas. This approach should be applied to pay too – transparency and measurement is key to closing the persistent gender pay gap."

Francke emphasised that the news does not mean that companies can backslide on efforts to improve gender equality.

"As much as anything else, this is a question of good management. Well managed businesses that make the most of their people's talents have a real competitive edge, especially when times are tough. Making sure that more women reach the top of our companies remains a priority."

Source: ©CMI

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