No equality quotas for boards: Olofsson

Stuart Roberts
Stuart Roberts - [email protected] • 2 Sep, 2009 Updated Wed 2 Sep 2009 12:24 CEST

Center Party leader and Industry Minister Maud Olofsson has washed her government’s hands of the responsibility for ensuring equal representation of women and men on the boards of listed companies, according to a report in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.


Olofsson also rejected the idea of quotas to force companies to appoint more women to top management positions.

Of the top 150 Swedish listed companies, 18 have no women directors on their boards, according to the report. This figure has increased, from 12 companies last year and 15 in 2007, that failed to have women in executive management positions.

Olofsson considers that the composition of management is the responsibility of company owners.

“I think that company owners ought to think about how their company performs and to put that question to the company. I suggest that many of these companies still have both men and women that buy their products and services," Olofsson told the newspaper.

In March, Olofsson and Equal Opportunity Minister Nyamko Sabuni from the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), sent a letter to 342 company boards to discover what they had done to ensure more equal representation of women and men on their boards. Only 77 companies have so far responded to the letter.

Social Democrat opposition leader Mona Sahlin called in August for a regulatory change obliging listed companies to ensure that women make up at least 40 percent of their boards.


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