In the next ten years companies that do not have forty percent of the supervisory board members as females could face stiff penalties in Europe. Forty percent is being talked about with this proposal but in the end it could be set anywhere from twenty to sixty percent. Viviane Reding, European Union justice commissioner, has created a proposal that would require state owned companies to have forty percent of supervisory boards to be women. This proposal sets a deadline of 2018 that these companies need to be in compliance by, while public companies would have a deadline of 2020 to achieve the same percentages. Even though these companies would have this requirement placed on them, the companies will still have the ability to select highly qualified individuals to fill the positions. Financial penalties, exclusion from bids on public contracts, restricting access to national and European subsidies and requirements to cancel appointments of women or men when a board is to heavily leaning towards one gender are options that nations authorities can choose to use to enforce this legislation. The finally proposal will hopefully be made public by the middle of October according to a European Union official. When it is made public the legislation will still need to be approved by the European Union and European Parliament. According to Ms. Reding self-regulation within the boardrooms of Europe has failed and she is giving them a final opportunity.
The idea and concept of a glass ceiling that women face in the workplace has been around for many decades. The glass ceiling is a social idea that women have been facing all around the world, not just in the United States. This inequality in the work place that women can only move up so high within a company is a social problem on the global scale. With globalization, companies need to understand different cultures as well as different business environments. Having alternative and sometimes complimentary views will help to lead to better decisions made by the board. According to a 2009 research study by GovernanceMetrics International shows that countries around the world have between one and 20 percent women sitting as board members. Some professions are male dominated and could have a hard time of filling these quotas that this proposal suggests and the same could be said about female dominated professions. Increasing the number of women as board members could also create problems when companies deal with certain cultures. This proposed quota could be beneficial to women’s rights in the workforce but could also create new obstacles for them to face.