Civil Society Activism for European Women on Boards

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 656A (University of Glasgow)
Alison E. Woodward , Institute for European Studies
The proposed European Directive for a quota on women’s participation in corporate decision making did not come out of thin air. This paper explores the thorny interactions of civil society activism in North Western Europe, the women’s movement, and the business women’s movement on their way to a declaration for quota’s for corporate boards. How did European Commission find partners for the radical proposal of gender balance in economic decision making? Did the new actors in the European Institutions stimulate organisations working for balance in European economic decision making and how did this interaction occur? In what sense can we see the increasing compliance initiatives as a result of the European initiative? The role of feminist elite civil activism is seldom explored. In this paper we look at the motivations for highly committed women to devote time to the cause of gender diversified boards, based on interviews with activist women in a trans-European network.