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To push for gender equality, the European Union proposed 40 percent quota of female board members.

Male members account for more than 60 percent on company boards, a proposal brought up by the European Commission.

Under the proposal, the EU is required to give priority to female candidates over the same qualifications for a post when women constitute less than 40 percent of the boards.

Several European countries such as Germany, Hungary, and Sweden have opposed previous attempts to reach the goal in consideration of preserving domestic affairs and ideology.

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Women empowerment at high ranks of companies is in slow progress in Europe.

Women made up 29 percent of British boards in 2016, down from 32.1 percent in 2014 and 31.6 percent in 2012, according to research by global leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder.

Statistics also show that the proportion of women on boards across the EU has more than doubled from 2005 to 2015.

However, in terms of board chairs and chief executives, women take up less than 10 percent of the largest listed companies.

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