This week Spanish lawmakers issued new legislation which will require companies hire more female executives to their corporate boards.
Approved at a weekly cabinet meeting this week, the Equal Representation Law will require that corporate boards feature at least 40% of “the least represented gender.” It also requires that upper management positions in the companies also feature similar levels of gender representation.
The bill will also apply to electoral lists, and the governing boards of professional organizations, in addition to the boards of directors of large businesses.
The law will require that all companies with at least 250 employees, and annual revenues of €50 million ($53 million) be in compliance by June 30, 2026, and all publicly traded companies come into compliance by July 1st 2024.
The law will also apply the 40% quota to the government cabinet, and will force all electoral lists to alternate between male and female candidates. Presently, female legislators make up 44% of the Congress and 39% of the Senate.
At his announcement of the plans, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, “If they represent half of society, half of the political and economic power has to be women’s.”
Spanish leaders have passed a raft of new equality measures, of which this law is just the latest. Previously the government adopted a transgender rights bill in December, as well as a new law focusing on sexual and reproductive health, which, among other measures, provided state-financed paid leave to women who suffer from painful periods.