More women rising through Swedish companies

Gender quotas to increase the number of female board members in Swedish companies are not needed, claims a report published on Tuesday by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

The reason is simply that more women then ever before are choosing careers as corporate leaders, said the report, Holes in the Glass Ceiling. The basis for the shift is a change in women’s education and career decisions.

“That influences their opportunities for being considered for leadership roles, which is something we can also see in the statistics,” said the report’s author, Krister B Andersson.

More female economics and engineering graduates have led to an increase in the proportion of female bosses, shows the report.

The statistics that Andersson and his colleague, Håkan Eriksson, used in the research come from the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers and from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s ongoing analysis of 60,000 companies with a total of 1.5 million employees.

The proportion of engineering graduates who are female has increased from 20% to 30% in the last ten years. At the same time, the number of female students at the Stockholm School of Economics (Handelshögskolan) as risen from 30% to 36%.

Andersson said that these educational backgrounds are the most common among managing directors.

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TT/The Local