A Snowball Starting in Norway
Edited by Silke Machold, Morten Huse, Katrin Hansen and Marina Brogi
In this book we have documented and reflected on contributions from practitioners, policy-makers, principle-setters, advocacy groups and researchers about the state of play on gender balance in the boardroom, the outcomes of the Norwegian quota law and its snowball effects in other countries. The core of the book was developed by the Think Tank organized in Oslo in March 2011, complemented by further contributions from important actors in the field of gender balance on boards. Oslo was chosen as the Think Tank location since it was home to the original legislative proposals on gender balance on boards, the effects of which have since reverberated in Europe and around the world. The Norwegian quota law demanded a minimum share of either gender of around 40 percent on boards of public listed companies, and it directly affected approximately 1500 corporations at January 2008. Norway was the first country to bring into force such a radical law, but others are following the trail blazed by the Norwegians. It is therefore apposite to reflect on the achievements to date. Our main questions for the Think Tank and later for this book were: Can we now conclude whether the Norwegian law about gender balance in the boardroom has been positive for society, for women and corporations? What more do we need to know before we can arrive at firm conclusions? And what are the implications for other countries? We reflected on these overall questions in five parts dedicated to perspectives from particular stakeholder groups.
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