Balanced Representation between Men and Women in Business Law: The French 'Quota' System to the Test of EU Legislation

Centre for European Law and Legal Studies Online Paper Series (University of Leeds) Volume 3, 2014, issue 2

26 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2014 Last revised: 28 Jan 2016

See all articles by Annick Masselot

Annick Masselot

University of Canterbury - College of Business and Law; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Anthony Maymont

Université d'Auvergne - Clermont 1

Date Written: June 27, 2014

Abstract

The number of women directors on the boards of large listed companies in the EU is very low and progress towards equal participation and representation of women and men in company boards has been extremely low. In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, the lack of gender diversity on corporate boards has become less justifiable. In response to the clear need for change a number of European countries and the European Union have adopted or proposed the introduction of various forms of measures designed to tackle the gender imbalance on corporate boards. This article aims to compare and contrast the French and the EU methods used to achieve a better gender balance on company boards. This article suggests that the French approach is wide reaching in its coverage of executive as well as non-executive directors and, as such, goes further than the proposed EU directive and has the potential to be a role model within the EU.

Keywords: Women directors, global financial crisis, French law, European Union law, quota, gender balance, directors, corporate governance, gender equality, company boards, positive action measures

JEL Classification: G03

Suggested Citation

Masselot, Annick and Maymont, Anthony, Balanced Representation between Men and Women in Business Law: The French 'Quota' System to the Test of EU Legislation (June 27, 2014). Centre for European Law and Legal Studies Online Paper Series (University of Leeds) Volume 3, 2014, issue 2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2459916 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2459916

Annick Masselot (Contact Author)

University of Canterbury - College of Business and Law ( email )

Christchurch, 8140
New Zealand

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Anthony Maymont

Université d'Auvergne - Clermont 1 ( email )

France

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