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NWCI welcomes limited Progress on Women on Boards

Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) today welcomed the decision by the European Commission to propose legislation which aims to increase the number of women on corporate Boards. However, the NWCI warned that the legislation lacks an accountability mechanism. 

Eóin Murray, Project Coordinator with the NWCI said,

'This initiative by the Commission is welcome. However, it lacks any substantial teeth which will force companies to change their behaviour. Companies will now be asked to publically provide an annual report on progress in appointing women as non-executive Directors to their Boards. But no penalty will be enforced if companies do not comply.'

 He continued,

'Even though more women in senior positions are good for profits, companies still resist it.  Without penalties or an enforcement mechanism this could become a noble voluntary initiative with no long term impact.'

The Commission's has set a target of 40% of women in non-executive positions by 2020. In Ireland only 8% of board positions in top ISEQ companies are held by women. 43% of companies have no women on the Board at all.

Eóin Murray added,

'Commissioner Reding introduced a voluntary pledge which was ignored by companies. This initiative, while welcome, will take a lot of policing to fully implement. But now companies should be aware that there is no more excuses for not opening up the Boardroom to more women.'


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Communications Officer,  National Women's Council of Ireland : 085 858 9104