Gender Balance Quotas- Coming Soon

The European Union, in an unusually useful move, has announced that it will require the boards of all major companies to meet a quota of 40% of non-executive directors being women by 2020. Norway has had such a law in place since shortly after the turn of the century, and the evidence shows that the rule has been effective at changing corporate culture into one which gives a genuinely fair chance to people of both genders.

In fact, it is surprising that the British media hasn’t picked up on it more. It’s been buried deep within the broadsheet pages, and the corporate dinosaurs who think they run the country seem to lack the will to kick up a fuss. (Even more unexpected when I heard on LBC a business owner complaining that a proposed legal requirement to respond to employees discretionary requests for flexitime (to look after their children) in writing would place an “excessive burden” on employers).

It seems to me that legal efforts to ensure that the proverbial glass ceiling is shattered are long overdue. If that requires quotas to kickstart the necessary transformation in business leaders’ attitude to gender equality, then so be it.

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