It has been reported that Germany will introduce legislation requiring German companies to allot 30 per cent of their non-executive board seats to women from 2016 — companies unable to meet this requirement would be required to leave these seats vacant. Eversheds has commented on this blow to the UK government, which has counted on Germany as a source of support in its resistance of proposed EU legislation for female board quotas.
Audrey Williams, partner at Eversheds, said: ‘The proposed EU quotas would impose a target of 40 per cent of non-executive positions in publicly listed companies to be held by females by 2020, with the exception of SMEs.
‘Until now, both Germany and the UK have argued for boardroom gender diversity to be addressed at a national, not EU, level and by voluntary measures, not legally binding quotas. This news comes in the same week that EU parliament is expected to vote in favour of the draft boardroom gender diversity cirective. However, it looks like the UK government is losing support in this week’s vote.’