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REC response to the EU women on boards quotas being dropped

REC response to the EU women on boards quotas being dropped

The REC welcomes news that the EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has been forced to scrap the controversial proposal to introduce a 40% quota for women on boards across Europe.

Although progress has been made over the last two years, the REC believes more can be done to improve the gender balance. The expertise of executive recruiters will be instrumental in enabling change by offering employers access to a wider talent pool and challenging discrimination and existing preconceptions.

Responding to today’s discussions in Brussels Tom Hadley, Director of Policy of the REC says:

& lsquo;This is good news – especially as there are signs that the voluntary approach is starting to work with a record 16% of women now on the boards of FTSE 100 companies. Although we are not in favour of a quota system we recognise the need to accelerate progress and will continue to actively promote the role that executive recruiters can play in sourcing more female candidates for senior roles. The other priority is to continue addressing residual barriers – for example, by embedding effective mentoring and flexible working patterns in UK workplaces. The UK recruitment industry is committed to helping make a real difference in this crucial area”.

David Winterburn, Acting Chair of the Association for Executive Recruitment (AER) says:

& lsquo;Executive recruiters are helping to drive the debate about how we can turn good intentions into real change. Despite today’s outcome in Brussels there is a real need to continue being proactive in sourcing a more diverse pool of candidates and challenging any latent pre-conceptions. This is a further opportunity for Executive Search providers to demonstrate their expertise and to work with clients to increase gender diversity in senior positions”.

In line with this debate, on 9 November the REC will host the next meeting for the European Confederation of Search & Selection Associations (ECSSA) where this topic and solutions will be high on the agenda.


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