European CEO

October 15, 2013 06:07 ET

The Fight for Women on Boards

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Oct. 15, 2013) - Recent years have seen the 'women on boards' debate gain favour amongst the masses, and though the issue is so often hard-fought and seldom short of support, the sad fact remains that the European boardroom is still very much a male-orientated environment. With this in mind, the new Winter issue of European CEO seeks to address the women on boards issue head on, delving into the very foundations of boardroom appointment and analysing the corporate landscape of present day.

"I wish it were true that putting a couple of women on every board would solve the problem, but it's just not that easy," says Melanie Wadsworth, partner at global law firm Faegre Baker Daniels, who spoke to Corporate Governance Report on the subject of gender quotas. Far too often, discussions of women on boards are reduced to a narrow-minded man vs. woman debate, missing the very point that boardroom appointments should - above all else - be a merit-based issue.

Having said this, "the pipeline of women qualified for board roles is weaker in many sectors than the pipeline of men," says Rowena Ironside, CEO of the Women on Boards organisation, who goes on to lament the fact that only three percent of the FTSE 100 CEOs are women. To compound concerns of this nature, just 4.2 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies have female CEOs and the European Commission's 'Women in Economic Decision Making' database has found a meager 4 percent of the top 100 companies to be headed by women.

For European CEO's special report on gender diversity in the boardroom and detailed coverage of Europe's economic affairs, read the new Winter issue online and in print now.

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