Larger companies in France will have to gradually meet new gender quotas for senior executives and management committee members, and publish an annual analysis of male and female representation in these roles. The measures feature in a law intended to accelerate economic and professional equality that passed parliament in December 2021. France already has gender quotas — a 2011 law phased in a 40% quota to improve the gender balance of management boards in companies listed on the stock exchange (“CAC 40”), or those with more than 500 employees and turnover exceeding €50 million over the previous three years.
- Companies with more than 1,000 employees will have to meet 30% and then 40% quotas for more equal gender representation among senior executives and management committee members. From 1 Mar 2026, companies will have two years to ensure that women hold 30% or more of senior executive roles and management committee seats and to negotiate corrective measures, or implement measures in the absence of an agreement. From 1 Mar 2029, companies will have two years to comply with the 40% quota, and sanctions for noncompliance (up to 1% of the company’s payroll) will take effect from 1 Mar 2031
- From March 2022, companies must publish annually on their websites an analysis of gender representation for their senior executive roles and management committee membership.
- Companies with 50 or more employees that must publish an annual gender equality index under a 2018 law will have to disclose the indicators used to determine their final index score. Companies that are not compliant because they have scored less than 75 out of 100 points must take corrective measures, and report on the progress achieved. This measure takes effect for equality index scores calculated on 2021 data. In 2020, only 25% of companies had achieved near parity in their highest 10 salary grades.
- To improve female entrepreneurs’ access to finance, the project selection committee of the public bank — Bpifrance — must comprise 30% or more female representation, increasing to 40% from 2027. From 1 May 2023, the bank will be allowed to grant loans or equity financing only to companies that have published a gender equality index.
- Other measures to help women include requiring company collective agreements on teleworking to specify conditions to allow pregnant employees to telework, and for employers to pay wages into bank accounts in the employee’s name, or that are jointly held by the employee.
- Law to accelerate professional and economic equality (French) (Legifrance, 26 Dec 2021)
- Law n° 2011-103 (French) (Legifrance, 28 Jan 2011)
Mercer Law & Policy resource
- France revises equality disclosure requirements (29 Mar 2021)