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MALTATODAY 23 October 2022

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13 NEWS maltatoday | SUNDAY • 23 OCTOBER 2022 NICOLE MEILAK MALTA lags far behind its EU counterparts on gender balance in businesses, as the European Council green-lights new rules for publicly-listed companies to have a more balanced board of directors. Under the new directive, which will have to be transposed by each Member State, by 2026 at least 40% of non-executive di- rector positions in listed compa- nies should be held by members of the under-represented sex. While the proportion of wom- en on the boards of the larg- est publicly-listed companies reached 30% in EU Member States, women only account for 9.9% of board members in Mal- ta. Brussels has been planning to force listed companies to re- serve at least 40% of non-exec- utive director board seats for women since at least 2012. Mal- ta initially opposed such plans, which would directly affect gov- ernment-participant companies like Bank of Valletta, and other publicly-listed companies like HSBC Malta, GO pls, Farsons and Maltapost. If member states choose to ap- ply the EU's new rule to execu- tive and non-executive director positions, the target can be re- duced to at least 33% of all direc- tor positions by the same year. If a listed company fails to achieve this objective, the com- pany would have to adjust their selection process and put in place a fair and transparent se- lection and appointment proce- dures. Companies would have to provide information about the gender representation of their boards at least once a year, to- gether with information on the measures in place to reach the 33% or 40% target. Member states will publish a list of all the companies that have reached this target on an annual basis. Joseph Portelli, chairman of the Malta Stock Exchange, told MaltaToday that this was good legislation. "Research suggests women are more risk-averse than men, so women on boards, I believe, will have a stabilising effect on the management of a company." However, Portelli holds one concern over the implemen- tation of the directive. "People shouldn't be fired from boards to make room for women in my opinion. I think the way forward is to have the directive grandfa- thered in. As positions are made available women can fill them." "I also think there should be an opt-out rule. If the company is very small or services a niche area where specialised skills are necessary, and only men can be reasonably found, then I believe that should be permitted." Indeed, SMEs with fewer than 250 employees are excluded from the scope of the directive. Malta lags far behind 2026 deadline for gender-balanced company boards A man whose identity is still un- known is the third construction work victim in the last 24 hours, after a fall in San Ġwann. Police said that at around 11:30am, a construction worker was seriously injured after he fall from a one-storey height at Ugo Carbonaro street. The victim was assisted by a medical team and was taken to Mater Dei hospital in an ambu- lance for treatment. Magistrate Gabriella Vella is leading an inquiry and police in- vestigations are ongoing. On Friday afternoon a con- struction worker was grievously injured by sawing machinery in Xagħra and on Saturday morn- ing another worker was griev- ously injured after a slip at a construction site in St Paul's Bay. THE anchor of Chem P, the St Kitts and Nevis-registered chemical tanker that damaged the interconnector in March was safely removed from the seabed. Enemalta said yesterday that several divers and marine craft took part in an eight-hour-long operation, salvaging the anchor and tonnes of chain. The interconnector cable that runs between Malta and Sicily was damaged when the tank-er, dragged its anchor off Baħar iċ- Ċagħaq in a storm on 19 March 2022. While legal proceedings for damages are underway in Mal- tese and foreign courts against the ship owners, over the past months Enemalta set a plan of action to have the anchor re- moved without causing further damage to the interconnector. Enemalta said that works had to be conducted when electrici- ty demand was lower, as the in- terconnector could not be used during this operation and its re- pair works. During the operation, the in- terconnector was de-energised between 8:20am and 12:15pm to safeguard the divers conduct- ing this operation. Third construction victim in 24 hours Anchor that damaged subsea cable removed

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