Quotas not the Solution to Improving Gender Balance in Boardrooms
The Malta Chamber concurs with the Maltese Government’s decision to oppose plans by the European Commission to impose a 40% quota for female board representation on publicly-listed companies by 2020.
“The Malta Chamber believes that merit, experience and achievement should be the most important qualifications for any post, and most definitely not gender”, Malta Chamber President Tancred Tabone affirms.
As Malta Chamber President Mr. Tancred Tabone had explained in a meeting with European Commissioner Viviane Reding back in June, the Malta Chamber recognises the importance of the contribution of women in the business world and also the need to expand the barriers of our economic capabilities by incorporating more women in the labour force.
However, it reiterates its position that quotas are not adequately addressing the need to improve gender balance on board seats. Mr. Tabone explained that measures to impose a standard and uniform scenario on Europe as a whole may not apply to Malta. This is due to cultural issues as well as the availability of support structures for professional mothers.
Furthermore, with quotas taking precedence over skills and competences, females may be given jobs on the basis of gender rather than academic qualifications and merit. The Malta Chamber believes that this may in turn hinder women’s long-term career progression. Also, from a business perspective, setting mandatory quotas will force entrepreneurs to get sidetracked from making decisions in the interest of their companies.
The Malta Chamber believes that ultimately the ideal approach would be to implement measures which encourage a natural rise in the number of women at the decision-making level. These would include measures or incentives for females to retain their employment and help strike a balance between work and family commitments.