Norway to strengthen gender quota laws
Norway, a gender equality pioneer, plans to expand its quota system to the boards of several thousand additional companies, its government said Monday.
Since 2004, state-owned company boards must be comprised of at least 40 percent women, with that rule being applied to publicly traded firms since 2008.
Norway now wants to extend this rule to between 10,000 and 25,000 additional companies, or about three to seven percent of the country's total.
"Twenty years ago, we had 15 percent of women on boards of companies, and today we have 20 percent," said Norwegian Trade and Industry Minister Jan Christian Vestre in a statement. "If we continue at this pace, we will never reach our goal."
The minority coalition government will need to gather support in parliament to move forward with this proposal, which may see modifications.
Thanks to Norway's quota law, women now make up 43 percent of boards of large publicly traded companies, but only nine percent of top executives, the
numbers of which are not regulated by quotas.
The European parliament, meanwhile, has ratified new rules requiring major companies in the European Union -- of which Norway is not a member -- to fill
at least 40 percent of non-executive board seats or 33 percent of all board seats "with the underrepresented gender" from July 2026.