"Only 21.2% of company board members are women - time for change" say S&Ds

Only 21.2% of company boards members are women - time for change say S&Ds, Evelyn Regner, women's rights and gender equality Marie Arena MEP, Maternity Leave Directive,

S&D Euro MPs will urge European governments to reach an agreement on an EU proposal aiming at increasing the number of women on company boards, during a debate in the European Parliament today in Brussels.

According to latest data, only 21.2% of board members of listed companies in Europe in October 2015 were women.

S&D Group spokesperson on this issue in the legal affairs committee Evelyn Regner MEP said:

"We can see that progress has only been made in Member States where legislative measures were taken. Now it's time for Europe-wide action to give women the opportunities they deserve.

"Only eight member states – France, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Denmark, Italy and Germany – have achieved an average of above 25% women on company boards. The Socialists and Democrats have been campaigning for many years for better representation of women on boards.

"The European Commission proposal under discussion – which introduces a transparent selection procedure for non-executive directors to help reach the target of 40% women on the boards of listed companies by 2020 – will have positive aspects for both men and women.

"Now is the time to break the glass ceiling."

S&D Group spokesperson on women's rights and gender equality Marie Arena MEP added:

"So far, European governments have given little consideration to gender equality issues. After the Maternity Leave Directive was dropped, we fear that this proposal aiming at increasing the number of women in leadership positions will share the same fate. This would be really unfair and unacceptable."