Female director roles see increase
Filed under: News
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said Brussels should not dictate legal limits on the issue and claimed efforts to encourage a voluntary shift in the UK were proving successful.
Mr Cameron has complained that male-dominated boardrooms are "failing our whole economy" and promised to learn lessons from countries with better records, some of which impose quotas.
It was signed by a sufficient number of his counterparts from other EU states to suggest any bid to impose a minimum could be rejected under the EU's complex voting system.
Mr Cable hopes the message will persuade the Commission to drop a quota of 40% by 2020 at all listed companies reported to be part of a package of measures due out next month.
In the letter, he wrote that all countries wanted to break down the "myriad barriers women encounter throughout their career" and promote fair chances and opportunities for women executives. But it said various national measures across EU member states "must be granted more time" to prove they could increase female representation.
"Therefore, we do not support the adoption of legally binding provisions for women on company boards at the European level."
The letter was co-signed by ministers from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and the Netherlands. Between them they wield 94 votes - sufficient for a blocking minority.
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