30% Club comment on the EU’s proposed plans to impose quotas to get women in the boardroom

5th March 2012

Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO Newton Investment Management and Founder of the 30% Club commenting on the expected announcement by Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding to introduce quotas to increase the number of women on the boards of public companies, said:

“The 30% Club is a group of Chairmen and organisations committed to bringing more women on UK boards – through a business-led approach. While we applaud any move to encourage greater female representation at an executive level, we believe mandatory quotas are both unnecessary and potentially damaging.”

“Quotas actually undermine the principle of equality and are patronising to women. Even those countries with quotas are still struggling with genuine equality and there’s evidence that shareholder value can be destroyed if quotas are imposed. Directors need to be there on merit.”

“We encourage business leaders to take affirmative action in moving voluntarily towards a better gender balance at all levels in their organisations. Progress is already being made through self-regulation here in the UK and we expect this to accelerate. Investors don’t want quotas, Boards don’t want quotas and women don’t want quotas.”