Viviane Reding: relentless gender warrior

My thanks to our Research Director, Michael Klein, for pointing me towards the following update from the EC on the continuing efforts of a defiant Viviane Reding, EC Justice Commissioner and relentless gender warrior, to push water uphill with a stick:

Wednesday 14 November (date to be confirmed): Boosting gender balance on corporate boards

The news:

The Commission will present a legal instrument aimed at increasing gender balance on company boards in the EU.

The background:

Across the EU, company boards are currently dominated by one gender: 86.5% of board members are men while women represent just 13.5% (8.9% of executive members and 15% of non-executive members). 97.5% of the chairpersons are men and only 2.5% are women.

Promoting more equality in decision-making is one of the goals in the Women’s Charter (see IP/10/237), which was initiated by President José Manuel Barroso and Vice-President Reding in March 2010. The Commission then followed these commitments by adopting a Gender Equality Strategy in September 2010 for the next five years (see IP/10/1149 and MEMO/10/430), which includes exploring targeted initiatives to get more women into top jobs in economic decision-making.

The event:

Vice-President Viviane Reding will give a press conference in Strasbourg. Details to be announced.

IP, MEMO and Factsheets will be available on the day.

  • Available on EbS

The sources:

Justice Newsroom:

Vice-President Reding’s website:

The contacts:

Mina Andreeva +32 2 299-1382

Natasha Bertaud +32 2 296-7456


Michael has also raised a good question. Given that Mrs Reding’s recent effort to impose legislated gender quotas on EU company boards foundered in the light of legal advice to the effect that the EU doesn’t have the legal ‘competence’ to impose such quotas, what ‘legal instrument’ can Mrs Reding possibly have in mind?

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