It comes after the European Commission announced that it is considering proposing the implementation of quotas for a minimum number of women on boards that would apply to companies throughout the EU, with a consultation recently held on the matter.
However, the UK, following recommendations made in last year’s report by Lord Davies, has taken a self-regulatory approach to the issue.
The report proposed a voluntary target of a minimum of 25 per cent female representation on FTSE 100 boards by 2015.
A year on, a government review showed mixed progress in achieving this aim.
It found that although nearly three in ten board appointments made since the publication of the Davies report had gone to women, around one in ten FTSE 100 boards and almost half of FTSE 250 boards were still composed entirely of men.
As such, whether or not mandatory quotas should be brought in to improve gender equality in the boardroom has been a topic of hot debate in recent months.
But the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union will examine whether or not this should be something for Brussels to decide, or if it would be more appropriately left to national governments.
It will also consider a variety of other questions surrounding the pros and cons of a self-regulatory or voluntary approach to boardroom diversity compared to one of mandatory regulation.
These will include questions such as: Can a voluntary approach achieve a fair representation of women on boards? Is there a point at which it should be determined that self-regulation is not working and that a legislative intervention is needed? And what should be the ultimate goal with respect to women on boards across the EU?
Contributions to the committee are invited from all individuals and organisations with an interest in this issue, with the deadline for submissions on July 10th.