Norway was the first country to introduce a quota for women on company boards. Since its introduction in 2003, the number of women on boards has reached 40 per cent as required by law. In several European countries, a debate has begun on how to increase the number of women in leading positions in business.
The Norwegian experience reveals that a quota is the key to a successful implementation. Not only does it create the pressure needed for fundamental change but it also triggers a public debate at the core of which are questions of gender equality in wider society.
The study revealed that 36 percent of female board members had a university education lasting six years or more, compared to just 22 percent of their male counterparts.
It is also not the case that a few women are hoarding many positions across numerous company boards. The report found, in fact, that male board members typically had more memberships than their female colleagues.
This report is authored by Aagoth Storvik and Mari Teigen. It was published in June 2010.