What Europe Can Teach the US (and Beyond?) About Gender in the Boardroom

September 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

“Smart organizations understand that in these tough economic times, no one can afford to curtail or shut out top talent, no matter their gender or ethnicity.”    A Harvard Business Review look at women leaders in business.

What Europe Can Teach the US About Gender in the Boardroom

by Sylvia Ann Hewlett  |  10:03 AM September 12, 2012

As the U.S. presidential campaign moves into its final months, newspapers are full of promises from both candidates. But there’s promising news from Europe that’s also worth attention.

A proposal being drafted by the European Commission and expected to be formally introduced next month by Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, would force euro-zone companies larger than 250 employees or with more than €50 million in annual revenues to reserve at least 40% of their nonexecutive director board seats for women by 2020 or face fines and other sanctions…

Smart organizations understand that in these tough economic times, no one can afford to curtail or shut out top talent, no matter their gender or ethnicity. A McKinsey study found that across all industry sectors, companies with the most women on their boards of directors significantly and consistently outperform those with no female representation: by 41% in terms of return on equity and by 56% in terms of operating results. In other words, diversity — especially gender diversity — unlocks growth.

Read the full article: http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/hewlett/2012/09/what_europe_can_teach_the_us_about_gender_in_the_boardroom.html

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