Only 7 percent of top business supervisory board members in Estonia are women, well off the 40-percent target set by the EU by 2020.
Although no binding resolution was passed, pan-European discussions are ongoing. The bill was initially launched at the end of 2012 and Estonian governments have so far rejected the proposal.
The bill would only effect large companies listed on stock exchanges, and only the supervisory boards, e.g. non-executive boards.
Currently Latvia and France have the highest percentage of women on supervisory boards, at 32 percent. The EU average is 20 percent.
Estonia fares far better on the executive level, with women making up 17 percent on boards of large companies. The EU average is 13 percent.
Käthlin Sander, the head of the Gender Equality Policy unit at the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs, said the bill includes a number of measures such as asking companies to prefer women if two candidates are equal in other abilities, and draw up objective qualifications for top leadership positions.
Estonia has only two female Cabinet ministers in the new government, down from six in the previous government.
Editor: J.M. Laats