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More women in the boardroom

Over the past four years, several boardroom and management positions have gone to women. Danish legislation on equal numbers of men and women in management has been a good framework for development, says the Confederation of Danish Industry.
In the large listed companies, or large cap companies, 26.4 per cent of boardroom members today are women.

Publiceret: 20.09.2017
Af Sara Krog P. Knudsen mail

Long before it became mandatory by law in Denmark, Radiometer, which makes measuring equipment for the health sector, has deliberately worked to get top positions filled by equal parts men and women.

“We are conscious of the fact that we like diversity. For us diversity is not only about gender, but it’s a good place to start. The more different we are, the better we function as a team,” says Henrik Schimmell, CEO at Radiometer.

The company is a good example of how things are headed in the right direction when it comes to distributing top positions in Denmark more equally between genders.

More women are entering boardrooms and management at Danish companies, shows a new analysis from DI.

See also: Women asscending to top of Danish businesses

70 per cent more women

Back in 2013, a new law was introduced. It requires the 1,400 largest Danish companies to set targets for the proportion of women on the board and to develop a policy to increase the proportion of the under-represented gender in management.

Four years have passed, and the government has now launched an evaluation process to investigate whether the legislation has led to a more equal gender composition in corporate management and on boards.

Ahead of the evaluation, DI has mapped out the development of women in Danish top positions since 2012. The survey shows a clear positive development.

The proportion of women elected to boards in listed companies has increased by 70 per cent since 2012. At the time, just under 10 per cent of board members were women, while that figure is today around 16-17 per cent.

If you look at all management positions in the private sector, 23 per cent are occupied by women, while women comprise 33 per cent of staff in total. Today, in the large listed companies, or large cap companies, women comprise 26.4 per cent of board members elected at AGMs.

Charlotte Rønhof, Deputy Director at DI, is pleased to see the increase. She emphasises that the Danish legislation on the issue provides the basis to further the development.

“It is worth noting that Norwegian companies, who have had mandatory quotas for women on boards for the past ten years, have not got more female chief executives. Meanwhile, in Denmark we can celebrate the fact that the proportion of women has increased - both in corporate management and in boardrooms,” says Charlotte Rønhof.

See also: DI analysis: Even more women in companies’ boardrooms (in Danish)

Make your career in the private sector, women!

According to DI, even though more women are occupying both positions in boards and in management, we have not yet reached the finish line. Charlotte Rønhof emphasises that there are other aspects that are important in getting more women to pursue leadership careers.

“It remains important to get more women to choose an education aimed at a career in the private sector and that women leave more parental leave and other fixed-term duties in the home to their partners,” says Charlotte Rønhof.

Female talents become leaders

At Radiometer, CEO Henrik Schimmell believes the law on setting targets for more women in Danish boardrooms is a good tool and that it sends a positive signal.

However, he is not a supporter of quotas that force companies to comply. Competency should always precede factors such as gender. It was such a policy that the previous government had on the drawing board before the current law was introduced.

Henrik Schimmell explains that in his view, equality is a longer process that starts at recruitment and continues with the development of talents, where equal parts men and women should be identified and matured for future leadership positions.

“When we look at the total talent pool in the company, it is important that we constantly consider the mix of genders and in that way ensure that we always have a diverse group available when we recruit internally for top positions,” says Henrik Schimmell.

Radiometer recruits approximately 75 per cent internally when new managers are needed. The company has about 1,000 employees in Denmark.

The more different we are, the better we function as a team.
CEO HENRIK SCHIMMELL, RADIOMETER
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PUBLISHED: 9/20/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 9/20/2017