Company Formation

Company formation is an important practice area for Iuris Malta. The law firm provides a comprehensive service on corporate related matters to its clients from inception to incorporation to compliance.

Gender Parity on Company Boards

Over the past years, there have been many discussions on whether Member States of the European Union should have laws which make gender parity on company boards mandatory.  The arguments have been mostly against this and the European Commission still needs to come up with a proposal that finds consensus.

The European Equality Law Network has recently published a study on this issue. The publication sheds light on the pertaining situation on this matter in the European Member States including Malta.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the regulatory approaches and policies of the 28 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a better gender balance on company boards as well as monitoring and enforcement mechanisms aimed to achieve the goals which are set. The report was prepared in view of the European Commission’s proposal on gender-balanced company boards.

A variety of measures and results

The study shows the variety of measures in the different countries ranging from soft public-regulatory approaches to mandatory quotas. Even the results achieved have been diverse and show the effectiveness or otherwise of some approaches that have been taken.  The study highlights the fact that the issue of gender-balanced company boards is very low on the list of political priorities in many of the countries under review. There is also political and societal resistance towards introducing mandatory quotas.

The way forward

The under-representation of women on boards is only the tip of the ice-berg as is stated in the report itself.  There are various issues that need to be addressed prior to the imposition of mandatory quotas.  Stereotypes in countries such as Malta are still very evident and women in decision-making positions are still a minority considering the investment that has been made in education. Career choices are often based on the need to combine work and family life and issues of discrimination at the workplace are quite common. In countries where more importance is given to gender equality, the gender gaps are less pronounced. Iuris Malta is often consulted on issues of discrimination by both employers and workers and has specialised lawyers dedicated to this area of law.

To this end, one needs to wait and see what will happen to this proposed directive. Many countries prefer adopting their own approach rather than have a law imposed on them by the European Commission. In the meantime, there are no impositions and quotas on the gender of company board members.

If you wish to set up a company, Iuris Malta can assist and guide you on all the relative laws and regulations.  For additional information contact Dr. Sarah Galea or Dr. Lena Sammut. If you are a victim of discrimination or need more information on this issue contact Dr. Romina Bartolo.