Gender quota set for company boards of directorsGender quota set for company boards of directors
Female directors must make up at least 40 percent of all new shareholder-owned companies' boards of directors from January 1. Existing stock companies will have two years to conform to the new quotas. Investors are already protesting after Norway's new justice minister and government minister in charge of equality issues announced the change in corporate regulations. Retailing entrepreneur Ola Mæle, for example, thinks the mandate will actually harm women's careers, not enhance them. Mæle told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Friday morning that women brought onto company boards simply because they're women may leave them in a position of being "second-class" directors. Government Minister Karita Bekkemellem nonetheless is firm in pushing through the new corporate regulation that politicians have been talking about for years. "Now there's no way back," she said. "This is all about sharing power and influence and it is intervention in private ownership, but it was overdue." The new regulations will apply to all stockheld companies, those formed as an "ASA" that have broad ownership, as well as state-owned share companies and other publicly owned firms. Violation of the new rules for board composition will be penalized with forced dissolution of the company.