Spain set to make it mandatory for corporate boards to be mad up of 40% women

Spain’s government is seeking to make it mandatory for corporate boards to be composed of at least 40% women.

Parliament is hoping to pass the gender parity law, which will also see a similar quote imposed on the government’s cabinet. 

It’s expected to be approved at a weekly cabinet meeting on March 7, before being sent to congress, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced. 

The law will seek to establish that boards include at least 40% ‘of the least represented gender’ and that they ensure similar levels of parity exist in top management, the government said.

If passed, the rules will apply to all publicly-traded companies by July 1, 2024, and for all companies with at least 250 employees and €50 million in annual revenues by June 30, 2026. The government will also set a 40% quota for the cabinet and will mandate that all political lists for elections alternate between male and female candidates. 

Gender parity is not unusual in Spain’s main corporate boardrooms. 

The local securities regulator has a non-binding recommendation for publicly-listed firms to have at least 40% women on their boards. 

Although many of the firms on the Ibex-35 benchmark meet the quota or are relatively close to it, several also fall short. 

The shortfall on gender parity on boards is more acute on smaller firms outside the benchmark. Sánchez’s decision to pass a law making board parity mandatory is aligned with a European Union directive issued last year, which demands that such laws be passed in the region by 2026. 

That directive doesn’t require parity in top management or in political positions.


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