Schyman storms Investor meeting

Sweden's best-known feminist, Gudrun Schyman , kicked off her campaign to get more women onto the boards of Swedish corporations on Tuesday by turning up to the Annual General Meeting of Investor, one of Sweden's most influential holding companies.

Schyman, spokeswoman for Feminist Initiative, has bought shares in ten top Swedish companies, which gives her the right to attend their shareholder meetings. Together with author Mia Odabas, Schyman intends to quiz company chiefs about their policies for recruiting more women.

Investor, controlled by the powerful Wallenberg family, has major shareholdings in companies including Electrolux, Ericsson, Astra Zeneca, Saab and SEB.

Schyman said she had a number of questions to ask the board:

“I am going to ask why there aren’t more women on the board, what they are doing to recruit more women and whether it is a priority for them to have as many women as men,” she told Aftonbladet ahead of the meeting.

Schyman has already sent around a questionnaire to the companies in her sights. Johan StÃ¥lhund, head of Investor’s nominating committee, said that the company’s starting point was “to nominate a board with a good collection of those experiences and competences which Investor needs.”

Schyman said the responses were evidence that “this is not a question that is being taken seriously.”

Norway has introduced a quota of women on company boards, something Schyman says has increased the average level of education at the top of Norwegian industry.

Other companies in which Schyman has bought shares include H&M, Ericsson, Skanska, TeliaSonera, Volvo, SEB, JM, Kinnevik and SAS.