40% target for Women on Boards, why this matters
- Men play an important role in advancing women’s careers in the boardroom. If you are a man in the boardroom, look around. What is the balance? Is it measured? Ask whether the organisation has a diversity policy.
- The EU Directive of 40% is for men and women. It ensures that the selection process is transparent. That the right procedures are in place to ensure competent men and women are in the boardroom.
- According to the research, women, on average, are more qualified than men on boards.
- The practical things that can be done to get women into the top positions on the board revolve around measuring the targets, ensuring that HR attract the right talent and that the organisational culture is one that retains this talent.
- France is the only country where we are seeing the 40% target of women on boards being reached. And what is naturally happening here is, once 40% is reached, it is fluctuating up to 45%, 48% and above.
- All male boards are increasingly vulnerable. They will be questioned by external influences, regulators, their own staff and they won’t be performing as effectively as a diverse board.
- 80% of the experts in sustainability are women. If you are not selecting an expert in sustainability who is a women do you need to question your selection process?
- Overconfidence as a characteristic in a board member is a dangerous trait.
Hedwige Nuyens has more than 35 years of experience in the Banking Industry and in Finance. She currently heads the International Banking Federation representing the banking industry at international level. Previously she was Head of Group Prudential Affairs at BNP Paribas, Chief Financial Officer of the Catholic University Louvain and Chief Risk Officer of ABN Amro Bank in Belgium.
Hedwige is a longstanding advocate for gender diversity. Elected Businesswomen of the Year in 1999, she mentored hundreds of women so far, helping them build the career they want. She wrote a book in 2005 on the glass ceiling. In 2013 she was elected Chairwoman of the BNP Paribas’ Women network.
Hedwige holds a Faculty of Law and a Master’s in financial sciences from the Catholic University Louvain, a Master’s in business administration and finance from the EHSAL Brussels. She followed courses on Digital Transformation at Insead, on Sustainable Finance at Cambridge, on Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning at MIT and on Cyber Security at Harvard.
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In this webinar, Hedwige Nuyens, Chair of European Women on Boards, discusses her journey to the chair and why the current targets of 40% women on boards, both in the UK and the European Union, are so important. By having greater gender diversity at all levels in the boardroom an organisation will benefit from better corporate governance, diversity that goes beyond gender and increased employee satisfaction. Hedwige will share her thoughts on the practical steps organisations need to take to ensure more women reach positions of influence at board level.