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Mar 09, 2023

Spain levels up gender equality with new draft bill for listed companies

Goal to have at least 40 percent female representation on boards by July 2024

The Spanish government is leveling up gender equality across the state public sector, listed companies, unlisted large companies and professional associations with its latest equality draft bill.

The preliminary draft of the Organic Law on Parity of Representation in Decision-Making Bodies aims to ensure the boards of all Spanish listed companies consist of at least 40 percent female directors by July 2024.

When effective, the new law will also apply to large unlisted companies, such as those with more than 250 employees or an annual turnover greater than €50 mn ($53 mn). Balanced representation must also be complied with in the governing boards of professional bodies and in court, as well as on juries for awards or public recognitions.

These organizations will have an additional grace period until July 2026 to comply with the new measures.

Break the glass ceiling

The need for new regulation follows the news that women on the board of large companies stands at 30 percent, with less than 20 percent in senior management positions, according to Nadia Calviño, first vice president and minister for economy and digital transformation.  

‘The regulation guarantees the participation of women in decision-making bodies, breaks the glass ceiling in the public and private spheres, and consolidates Spain as one of the most progressive countries worldwide in terms of gender equality,’ she says.

‘We have to take advantage of 100 percent of female talent to improve the productivity of companies and achieve stronger and more sustainable growth over time.’

Spain levels up gender equality with new draft bill for listed companies

Men typically earn more

The gender ratio in European IR teams is 53 percent male to 47 percent female, according to the latest Women in IR report by IR Magazine.

Most IR heads in Europe are also men but it is only a small majority –  52 percent/48 percent male/female – that broadly matches the gender make-up of European IR teams in general, though men typically earn more as IR heads in Europe than women do.

The median salary range for male IR heads in Europe is $150,000 to $149,999 while for women it is one pay bracket lower at $100,000 to $149,999.

Meanwhile, nearly four in 10 men in Europe earn upwards of $200,000, compared with just 14 percent of female European IR bosses. Just over a fifth of female IR heads in Europe earn under $100,000, while for men the figure is 8 percent.

Nine in 10 male European IR heads received a bonus last year, at an average two fifths of their salary. All female IR heads in Europe polled in our surveys received a bonus, averaging 42 percent of salary.