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EU Council Gives Green Light to Board Gender Rules

The European Council has approved EU rules to ensure a more balanced gender representation on corporate boards. The directive, which will now have to be transposed into national law over the next two years across member states, will require at least 40% of EU-based listed companies’ non-executive director positions to be held by women by 2026. If member states choose to apply the new rules to both executive and non-executive directors, then the target is 33% of all director positions by 2026. To achieve these targets, companies will need to adjust their selection process to ensure candidates are assessed according to “clear and neutrally formulated criteria”, the Council said. In the case of choosing between equally qualified candidates, then companies should give priority to the candidate of the underrepresented sex. Marian Jurečka, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of Czechia, said: “The new rules will help to remove the obstacles women often face in their careers. I also believe that companies would greatly benefit from women realising their potential in decision-making positions. The positive impact of the measures will surely trickle down to all levels of national economies.” 

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