EQUALITY MANDATE

06.05.13

The Female Board-Member Experiment

Norwegian ‘golden skirts’ weigh law’s progress, 10 years in.

More female board members may not equal more power, women in Norway are finding out. In 2003, a law was rushed through Norway’s government that required publicly traded companies to appoint at least 40 percent female members to their boards or risk delisting from the Oslo Stock Exchange. At the time, 94 percent of board members were men. But even years after the law went into effect, Norwegian women still say they have a long way to go in terms of business equality. Women on boards, known as “the golden skirts,” have conflicting opinions about the law: Some say they've noticed a change in attitudes, while others contend it hasn't caused any “ripple effect.”