European Union and Louis Vuitton Pledge to Break Through Gender Glass Ceiling

On March 1, 2011, the European Union Justice Commissioner issued a challenge to publicly traded European businesses in an effort to create gender equality:

increase women’s presence on corporate
boards to 30% by 2015 and to 40% by 2020

Companies can support this initiative by voluntarily signing the “Women on the Board Pledge for Europe“.  Acknowleding the influence that government guidance (or intervention, depending on your political leanings) has on encouraging (or mandating) gender equality in the workforce, the Commissioner also saw great value in encouraging companies to voluntarily institute programs to facilitate gender equality.  This Board Pledge is the first step.

The Commissioner advised that she would use the 2012 International Women’s Day as a marker for progress.  If there has not be sufficient progress relying on the corporate world’s initiative, she would be happy to intervene in a regulatory capacity.

Frankly, the facts are a little depressing and there is room for improvement.  Today, only 12% of board members are women and 97% of the time, the board is chaired by a man.

Louis Vuitton is the most signatory to the Pledge, which is reflective of its corporate policy to support gender equality in the corner offices.

LVMH: je voudrais dire, merci!

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