Parliament approves quotas for women on company boards

Nayla Hayek chairs the board of directors of the Swatch Group and is also CEO of Harry Winston. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

The Swiss parliament has approved a government proposal calling for better representation of women at the top echelons of large publicly-traded companies.  

This content was published on June 19, 2019 - 17:20

On Wednesday, the Senate voted in favour of the proposal that was also narrowly approved by House of Representatives (by just one vote). The new regulation, which is part of a large-scale overhaul of Swiss corporate law. It requires companies to set aside at least 30% of positions in the boards of directors and 20% in the executive boards for women over the next five and ten years respectively.  A government minister recently said the proportions were stuck at 10% and 20%.  

Around 250 companies will be affected by the measure but there are no sanctions for non-compliance. The firms that fail to achieve the minimum targets will be required to provide a justification. 

Around half a million women took to the streets last Friday in Switzerland to demonstrate for equal treatment and conditions as their male counterparts. 

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