Do we need EU quotas for gender balance in business?

On 5 March 2012, European Commissioner Reding started a debate on EU Gender Quota in business. She stated the following: “I do not like quotas but I like what they do”. Here you can find a short video:

“I do not like quotas but I like what they do”

With this statement, she launched a public consultation asking organizations and individuals to reply to 7 questions on the topic of gender balance in boards. The Commissioner will use the outcome of this public consultation as a first step in further EU decision-making.

I agree with Commissioner Reding and have given my response to the 7 questions; here you can find my response:

Irene Janssen_Response_Public Consultation Gender Balance in Boards_120528FINAL

I am curious to hear what you think; do we need quotas in boards in order to increase the number of women on boards?

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  1. Great quote and great question. My line would be this: Getting onto a board is such an opaque, network-based process, that the inherent conservatism of all social processes means we are unlikely to see significant changes without intervention.
    My second line would be: Given that we now know that gender balance on boards gives better corporate performance, there are sound business reasons to insist on this change.
    What is it that you don’t like about quotas?
    Related readings:
    A slow thaw for women, about what we can expect without intervention, at
    The truth about affirmative action, showing that when measures are in place, the applicant pool is of higher quality, at

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