30 percent Women on Boards: New Law in the Netherlands (2012)
European Company Law, Kluwer Law International, Special Issue on CSR and SRI, 2012, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 53-63
13 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2012 Last revised: 24 Apr 2013
Date Written: June 13, 2012
The lack of upward mobility for women is an issue in many European countries. Gender segregation in the labor market, including the failure to promote women to senior posts, is one of the subjects addressed in a new act that will become effective mid 2012 in the Netherlands. The Act will amend Dutch corporate law. It requires large companies to have 'gender balanced' boards, comprising at least 30 percent women and 30 percent men. This article elaborates on the Act's legislative history, content, application and enforcement possibilities. It puts it in the perspective of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and of gender equality as a human right as promoted in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Finally, the article compares the Act's provisions with the Dutch Corporate Governance Code because the latter also contains provisions on gender in board composition.
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