The Evening Standard debate, hosted by Google, on how best to promote women in boardrooms was lively and stimulating. It took place as the EU proposed that 40 percent of non-executive directors of larger listed companies should be women.

That idea got short shrift, though attorney Cherie Booth felt that good intentions alone had not achieved enough. The consensus was that it is executive positions that matter most. The priority is for companies to encourage able women to consider promotion and acquire the right experience for it.

Quite simply, companies and institutions will not flourish as they might if they do not deploy the talent of the whole work force, nearly half of whom are women.

This is not a matter of quotas but about a willingness to encourage talented women to consider higher positions and to help find ways to make it possible for those with dependents to combine work and family responsibilities.

Diversity in workplaces is not just a matter of gender — but a better balance of the sexes is in all our interests.

— London Evening Standard, Sept. 5

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