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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Gender Balance on Corporate Boards: Targets for Equal Representation across Europe

European Perspectives | ESG Series: Inclusion | Session 8

Clifford Chance and PWN Global (Professional Women's Network Global) hosted 'Gender Balance on Corporate Boards: Targets for Equal Representation across Europe' on Monday, 20 March 2023.

We were joined by an esteemed panel of speakers as part of our global campaign to mark International Women's Day. This year's theme is #EmbraceEquity, with the focus on gender equity being especially pertinent in the context of this major piece of EU-wide legislation.

The European Commission, Council and Parliament have reached political agreement on the draft legislation to ensure gender parity on the boards of publicly listed companies in the EU: the 'Women on Boards Directive'.

Under this agreement, in-scope companies will be required to achieve a target of 40% of non-executive director positions, or 33% for all board positions, to be allocated to the under-represented sex by 30 June 2026. The draft Directive provides for penalties to be implemented in the event of non-compliance.

A member of the European Commission Cabinet for Equality and a panel of experts discussed the draft legislation, examined how companies and governments will look at implementation, and considered the impact on companies and their culture and strategies, as well as the wider social impact.


  • Susannah Haan (moderator): EU Adviser, PWN Global. ESG / Corporate Affairs professional with a focus on Social & Governance. Senior Corporate Governance Adviser at Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development, Committee Member European Association of People Management.
  • David Kerr: Member of Cabinet of European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli. He is responsible for relations with the European Council and the European Parliament and is also Member of the Group for External Coordination.
  • Clarisse Derré: Head of Governance Matters at Airbus. In charge of all matters related to Airbus’ top holding company, Board of Directors, Annual General Meeting as well as disclosure, reporting and listing activities.
  • Floris van de Bult: Partner and Co-Head of the Global Employment practice, Clifford Chance. He advises (boards of) both domestic and international companies on their strategic employment matters such as remuneration policy and regulations, cross-border reorganisations, #metoo issues, D&I policy and high-end litigation.


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