Democratic Deficits and Gender Quotas

The Evolution of the Proposed EU Directive on Gender Balance on Corporate Boards
Professor Julie C. Suk, Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York

Julie Suk looks at the economic effects of a more equal gender balance in corporate boardrooms, challenging the predominant claim of the EC that the changes would lead to economic benefits and be good for business. 
 
Charting the evolution of the proposals, she shows that the initial approach by the Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding was to allow companies to voluntarily pledge to comply with their recommendations, but that, following limited uptake, the EC proposed legislative measures to bring about a meaningful improvement in the representation of women on corporate boards. 
 
Professor Suk argues that corporate board gender quotas can do important work in legitimizing corporations' actions in influencing EU policy, through lobbying, consultations, and framework agreements through social partners.