A European Union (EU) directive that will require companies listed in one or more EU member states to have gender-balanced boards was finally agreed to by the Council of Ministers, and awaits formal adoption by the European Parliament. Under the directive, a minimum of 40% of nonexecutive director positions in listed companies must be held by individuals of the underrepresented sex by 30 June 2026. In member states that choose to apply the directive to both executive and nonexecutive directors, the target will be lower — 33% of all director positions by 30 June 2026. Member states will have two years to introduce implementing measures into national law after the directive enters into force (20 days after publication in the Official Journal).
Currently, women comprise 31.5% of board members of the EU’s largest publicly listed companies, and 8% of board chairs.