Leading article: Still not enough women in the boardroom

 

Full marks, Viviane Reding. The European Commission Vice-President is to table legislation in the autumn under which listed companies that do not reserve at least 40 per cent of non-executive seats for women will be fined.

The shame is that such laws are necessary. But progress towards gender balance in Europe's – and Britain's – boardrooms has been appallingly slow. And the evidence is that quotas work. In Norway, where rules came into force in 2008, women now make up more than 40 per cent of non-executive directorships. Nor are the results to be sniffed at. Stock market growth is strongest with women in senior management, and companies with more women on the board outperform their rivals. All power to Ms Reding's elbow, then. If only David Cameron had borne such considerations in mind when putting together his new Cabinet.

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