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Monday, 17th August 2015

Quotas and Targets: How Do They Affect Diversity Progress?

Source: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK)

From Executive Summary:

We consider a number of key questions in this literature review. What are the effects of quotas on organisations and targeted groups? In what circumstances could quotas work most effectively if they are introduced? And when are they most likely to fail? Our conclusions are based on a large body of research referenced at the end of this report. We consider evidence from the worlds of politics, education and the workplace. As well as an analysis of the findings relating to the use of quota systems, we review the effects of affirmative and positive action in general. We also consider the factors that influence attitudes towards the use of mandatory quotas.

If adopted in Brussels, the EU proposal to improve the gender balance among non-executive directors on company boards would impose a mandatory quota of 40% for each gender by 2020 (2018 for public undertakings). As it stands, the proposal applies to companies listed on stock exchanges in EU member states, irrespective of whether they are privately or publicly owned, but it excludes SMEs, even if they are listed on stock exchanges.

The directive would apply to around 5,000 listed companies across the EU. It will have far-reaching implications for all member states, including the UK. Not only will the new law spell the imposition of mandatory quotas, it will impact on a larger number of companies than the UK’s current ‘Women on Boards’ initiative.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 123 KB)



Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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