Since 2008, Norway has had a law obliging companies to grant at least 40 percent of management positions to women. This made the country a forerunner; within a few years, other European countries also set quotas for women at the top. Now the SER also recommends converting the non-binding advice of 30 percent to the business community into a mandatory quota.
The Norwegian example is a huge success, according to Norwegian recruiter Elin Hurvenes in response to questions from News Hour. She has been working for years for more women in leadership positions. “It worked great. When the law came into effect, the number of members of the supervisory board had risen from 6 to 40 percent. The number of women on boards of directors also increased, to 26 percent. And we are also seeing more and more women This year, for example, at the largest Norwegian bank, the DNB, and the aluminum group Norsk Hydro. “
Still, there was a lot of discussion about the measure in Norway. “Of course there was a lot of criticism, and a lot of questions,” says Hurvenes. “Where can we find them? Are there enough capable women?”
No more discussion
But in the end it wasn't too bad. “Now they notice the benefits of diversity,” says recruiter Hurvenes. “Women feel encouraged. It is still the case that if you ask a hundred men if they are CEO (Csaid Exectutive Officer, ed.) want to raise their hand more than if it asks for a hundred women. But women are educated in business studies, work their way up in the company, and see the example of a female CEO. “
The examples change how men look at women in leadership positions. But Hurvenes thinks that women also have a positive effect. “They see: this is not a superwoman, this is a normal woman with a family life and a private life. The director of Norske Bank is a woman in her thirties with three children. You also see that they change the style: They modeling their function around their families. Children are not an issue. More and more men want a good relationship with their families in addition to work.
Hurvenes is optimistic that the Netherlands will also benefit if a quota is set. “My advice to the Netherlands is: believe that this works. Do not look back, but look ahead. In Norway, there is no one left to question this policy after ten years.”