Jim, Meet Mary. Jim, You’re Fired.

Economist – IF YOU are a youngish man who sits on a European corporate board, you should worry: the chances are that your chairman wants to give your seat to a woman. In January the lower house of France’s parliament approved a new law which would force companies to lift the proportion of women on their boards to 40% by 2016. The law would oblige France’s 40 biggest listed firms to put women into 169 seats currently occupied by men. Spain has also introduced a quota at 40%, to be reached by 2015. Italy and the Netherlands are contemplating similar measures. This week Britain’s government threatened to make companies report formally on their recruitment of female directors.

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