A piece in today’s Times:
Legislation obliging French companies to promote women to top jobs has been backed by MPs despite warnings that it will lead to the dismissal of thousands of male executives.
Under the bill, companies with more than 1,000 employees will have to ensure that 30 per cent of senior managers are women by 2027 and 40 per cent by 2030. Businesses that fail to respect the quota face a fine of up to 1 per cent of their overall payroll costs.
The fines will be imposed from 2032 to give companies time to adjust. About 1,000 businesses and 70,000 jobs may be affected.
The bill, which won cross-party support in the national assembly, will now go through the Senate, and become law by the end of the year if it passes.
Women occupy 34 per cent of managerial positions in French businesses, but make up only 20 per cent of corporate executive committee members. Only one of the blue-chip companies on the Cac 40 index is led by a woman.
France passed a law in 2011 making it obligatory for women to make up 40 per cent of boardrooms. Jean-François Copé, a Republicans MP, said the new bill would create more problems for business, as “directors have fixed terms which facilitates their renewal, which is not the case for executives”.
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