EU to require large companies and NGOs to have 40% women on their board

EU Commission President von der Leyen addresses the Ukrainian Parliament

EU Commission President von der Leyen addresses the Ukrainian Parliament Source: Shutterstock

The EU has said that it will from June 2026 require 40 per cent of the boards of all large companies to be made up of women.

The agreement reached overnight on Tuesday, June 7, was supported by all 27 member states.

The directive will also require the non-executive boards of charities and other community-based organisations to meet the same quota. The measure is said to be binding with each member state to determine what sanctions will apply for failing to meet the target.

States that enforce both quotas for all executive and non-executive boards will be able to set the quota at 33 per cent, to begin with.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, expressed her gratitude to member countries who have made the change possible.  

She said on Twitter that:  It is a great day for women in Europe.

“It is also a great day for companies. Because more diversity means more growth, more innovation.”

The provisional agreement, announced by the French presidency of the EU, will still need to be approved by the plenary session of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe to be final.

Approval of the new legislation should be forthcoming within the next month with the expectation that there will be no objections.

Originally proposed almost a decade ago by José Manuel Duro Barroso, the Head of the European Commission at the time however it was rejected by the member states. Resurrected in 2020, the quota of 40 per cent women on the boards of large companies and charitable institutions has finally been approved.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at