Legislative Board Diversity

 

Country or Region

Details

AUSTRALIA1

Minimum Standards: Initial to be set before April 1, 2014
Companies: Non-public employers with at least 100 employees
Passage Date: November 22, 2012
Compliance Date: Minimum standards will go into effect for the 2014-2015 reporting period.
Sanctions: Companies that fall below the minimum standard and fail to improve during the next two-year reporting period without a reasonable excuse will be considered non-compliant. After being given notice and a chance to respond, companies may be publicly named by the government and may become ineligible to compete for government contracts or grants and financial assistance.
Additional requirements: Starting with the 2013-2014 reporting period, public disclosure of gender equality indicators, such as the composition of the board of directors, in a report signed by the company CEO.

BELGIUM*2

Quota: 33% WBD
Companies: Publicly traded and SOEs
Interim: Efforts made to reach quota must be disclosed in the company’s next annual management report (2012-2013).
Passage Date: June 30, 2011 (signed into law September 14, 2011)
Compliance Date: Varies, based on company type and fiscal year start. SOEs: 2011-2012; Publicly traded: 2017-2018; Small publicly traded (defined as having < 50% shares available for trading or meeting at least two of the following criteria: less than 250 employees; less than or equal to €43 million in assets; or less than or equal to €50 million in annual net turnover): 2019-2020
Sanctions: Post compliance date, if the board comprises fewer than the minimum number of each gender, any newly (re)appointed director of the majority gender is void. Companies are given an additional year (until 2018-2019 for publicly traded; 2020-2021 for small publicly traded) before benefits and compensation for all board members are suspended until the company is in compliance.

QUEBEC,
CANADA3

Quota: 50% WBD
Companies: SOEs
Passage Date: December 2006
Compliance Date: December 14, 2011

DENMARK4

Target: Determined by company and accompanied by establishment and explanation of company policy to increase share of underrepresented gender
Companies: Large publicly traded, large private, and SOEs with at least 50 employees (large is defined as having two or more apply across two consecutive financial years: balance sheet total > €143M; turnover > €286M; or average full-time employees > 250)
Passage Date: December 14, 2012
Compliance Date: April 1, 2013
Additional requirements: Large companies must disclose progress against target, including, if applicable, why not yet achieved.

FINLAND5

Quota: 40% WBD
Companies: SOEs
Passage Date: April 15, 2005
Compliance Date: June 1, 2005
Additional Information: At least one candidate from each gender should be considered for open seats. Exceptions may be made for special reasons (e.g., no women or no men currently hold positions from which appointments must be made).

FRANCE6

Quota: 40% WBD (if < eight directors, difference between genders can’t be > two)
Companies: Publicly traded or non-listed companies that have > 500 employees or revenues > €50 million
Interim Quota: Publicly traded companies must have at least 20% WBD by January 2014; during 2012, single-sex boards were required to appoint at least one director of the opposite sex
Passage Date: January 13, 2011
Compliance Date: January 2017
Sanctions: Fees will not be paid to directors of noncompliant companies.

ICELAND7

Quota: 40% of each gender (if < three directors, both genders must be represented)
Companies: Publicly traded, private limited, and SOEs with at least 50 employees
Passage Date: March 4, 2010
Compliance Date: September 1, 2013

ISRAEL8

 

Quota: 50% WBD
Companies: SOEs
Passage Date: March 11, 2007
Compliance Date: 2010

Quota: At least one WBD
Companies: Publicly traded
Passage Date: April 19, 1999

Quota: Give appropriate expression of both sexes
Companies: SOEs
Passage Date: March 15,1993

ITALY9

Quota: 33% of underrepresented gender
Companies: Publicly traded
Passage Date: June 28, 2011
Sanctions: Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) formally notifies non-compliant companies, which have four months to comply before fines are levied (Boards of Directors: €100,000 - €1,000,000; Supervisory Boards: €20,000 - €200,000); companies are given an additional three months to comply before elected members lose their office.

KENYA10

Quota: 33% of each gender
Companies: SOEs
Passage Date: August 28, 2010

NETHERLANDS*11

Target: 30% WBD
Companies: Publicly traded (250+ employees)
Passage Date: June 6, 2011
In Effect Date: January 1, 2013
Cessation Date: January 1, 2016
Additional requirements: Target applies to nominations and entire board composition
Sanctions: If target is not reached, companies address in annual report (comply or explain) why not, steps taken, and future steps to ensure compliance

NORWAY12

Quota: 40% WBD
Companies: Publicly traded and SOEs
Passage Date: December 19, 2003
Compliance Date: 2006 (SOEs); 2008 (publicly traded companies)
Sanctions: Brønnøysund Register Centre may refuse to register the board. After notice, continued non-compliance can result in dissolution of the company by court order. Special circumstances may allow for the payment of a compulsory fine until compliance is achieved.

SPAIN13

Quota: 40% of each gender
Companies: Publicly traded companies with 250+ employees
Passage Date: March 22, 2007
Compliance Date: March 2015
Sanctions: No penalty, but gender diversity is taken into account when public subsidies and state contracts are awarded.

 

(Note: WBD = Women Board Directors; WEO = Women Executive Officers; SOE = State-Owned Enterprise)