Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Business Secretary’s statement on European Commission’s proposed directive on improving gender balance on Europe’s corporate boards

Responding to the European Commission's proposed Directive on improving the gender balance on the boards of Europe's listed companies, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable said:

“The UK welcomes the Commission’s decision not to impose mandatory quotas for women on boards. We remain fully committed to increasing women’s representation in UK boardrooms, but along with like-minded Member States, we have consistently argued that measures are best considered at national level. So we are pleased the Commission has listened to the concerns raised.

“We believe that the UK’s business-led, self-regulatory model, as set out in the Davies Review, is the best approach for us. We will now consider the Commission’s proposal carefully and work with other Member States to ensure the final Directive supports our efforts to ensure we have diverse and effective boards.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries'. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

- To create the most competitive tax system in the G20

- To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business

- To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy

- To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

2. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

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