“Women account for 60 percent of new university graduates and 45 percent of the workforce in the EU, yet their participation in economic decision-making, including company boardrooms, remains disproportionately low. In 2010, women made up just under 12 per cent of board members in the largest publicly listed companies and around 3 per cent of board chairs. Between 2003 and 2010, the share of women in company boardrooms increased by just three percentage points and the share of female chairs only increased by a single percentage point.
Projections show that the share of women on the boards of major publicly listed companies in Europe will rise by around half a percentage point per year. At the present rate, it will take another half century before a reasonable balance is reached (at least 40% of each sex on company boards).
Meanwhile, a growing number of studies from different countries strongly suggest that there is a positive correlation between the percentage of women in senior positions and the economic and organizational performance of companies."
(State of play - from background note - Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union)
The Council will hold a policy debate on women on company boards. Ministers will discuss the issue on Friday, 17 Feb. Read more about the EU framework, the way forward and questions for the Ministers` debate: Link
In March 2012, the Commission will assess the situation.