Seminar Gender-Balanced Company Boards in the EU

Gender-Balanced Company Boards in the EU

The role of private actors vis-à-vis public authorities in ensuring gender equality in corporate management

Date: 9 December 2015

Location: Raadzaal, Achter Sint Pieter 200, Utrecht (For travel directions, please click here)

From the very foundation of the European Union, the principle of equal treatment of men and women is one of the legal cornerstones of its underlying system of core values, yet the unequal representation of women in decision-making is still a huge problem throughout the EU these days. While women make up for half of the population, their share in the exercise of political and economic power has remained at a very low level even in the 21st century.

This conference focussed on the problem of underrepresentation of women on company boards in Europe and in corporate management more generally, bringing together views from industry, policy-makers and
academia. The pros and cons of the different national regulatory and enforcement approaches will be discussed and the European Commission’s legislative proposal, as well as best practices to effectively deal with the lack of progress. The role and responsibility of both governments and industry, in their interaction, will be a central issue. A very recent column “Het schiet niet op met vrouwen in de bedrijfstop” (Dutch) by Mirella Visser sheds some extra light on the issue of underrepresentation of women in company boards and can be found here.

For more information on the programme or background of this seminar and the topics that were discussed, please click here.


This conference was hosted and organised by Utrecht University/RENFORCE (Linda Senden) and the Centre for Inclusive Leadership (Mirella Visser).  After the conference, Linda  Senden and Mirella Visser wrote an article on the underrepresentation of women in Dutch boards for the NRC, which can be found here.