Norway’s boardrooms a woman’s world

Stephen Beard Dec 27, 2007


Lisa Napoli: Imagine this happening in the United States: Starting next week, all listed companies in Norway will be forced to fill 40 percent of their boardroom posts with women. From our European Desk in London, Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: The Norwegian government has applied its boot to the male seat of power in the boardrooms of Norway. Male directors in listed companies have been told: Recruit more women or else. If less than 40 percent of their board is female by January the first, the company could be shut down.

The threat was introduced by a law passed four years ago. With the deadline looming next Monday, the measure seems to have proved effective.

Marit Hoel of Norway’s Center for Corporate Diversity:

Hoel: We have the highest number of women board directors in the world, and it has quadrupled in less than five years.

Only a handful of companies are expected to defy the law next week. Norway’s listed company boards are now almost 40 percent female. That compares with 15 percent in the United States.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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