British businesses agree with postponing female board quotas
The decision to postpone the debate on quotas for the number of women on company boards has been welcomed by workers up and down the country in shared and serviced offices.
Viviane Reding, EU justice commissioner, has had her decision met with the support of many businesses who do not believe that quotas are the best way to redress the gender balance at the top of companies.
Despite the fact that the quotas have been postponed, Ms Reding reiterated that she is still keen to get women into the boardroom.
She wrote on Twitter: “Europe has a lot to gain from more diverse corporate boards.
“The European parliament has called for action to get more women into boardrooms. The time to act is now.”
One of the most high profile figures to speak out against the quotas is Hilary Devey, businesswoman and star of Dragons’ Den.
She told HR magazine: “As you know, I do not think quotas are the answer. Self regulation is the best answer not imposition.”
According to Helen Wells, director of Opportunity Now, the gender campaign from business in the community, having quotas only masks the problem.
She said that it is the root causes that need to be dealt with in order for there to be true gender equality in the workplace.
The argument for quotas highlights the fact that the issue is seen as one which needs to be vitally addressed for the good of the economy, it is just the way that this is achieved which is brought into question.
Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative MEP for London, said: “I hope Ms Reding will take the hint: member states don’t want quotas, the commission doesn’t want quotas and I know many members of the European Parliament don’t want quotas.
“Let’s put a stop to this quota nonsense once and for all and talk about the real issue of supporting diversity in business.”
With such opposition to quotas a different approach may be needed to get women into the boardroom, but outlying issues such as home life and balancing this with work may be the real reason why there are fewer women at the top.