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Swedish firms choose male bosses: report

Clara Guibourg · 11 Feb 2012, 12:03

Published: 11 Feb 2012 12:03 GMT+01:00

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Old-fashioned search processes in which recruiters fail to make enough effort to find suitable women for the position is listed as one main reason for the continuing imbalance.

Other explanations include few women in male-dominated industries and companies who don't demand that the recruitment companies find candidates of both sexes.

"Twenty years ago that distribution would have been 85 percent men and 15 percent women, so it's a positive development over time," said Svein Ruud, CEO of Amrop, to SvD.

Amrop appointed 70 percent men and 30 percent women to managerial positions last year.

Håkan Ekström, CEO of Odger Berndtson, a recruitment company with similar distribution figures, agrees that change is ongoing, albeit slow.

However, he highlights the responsibility that recruitment companies have in finding more women.

"We can actively search for women, take extra references and listen to what's being said in the candidate spheres and among our sources. We always go the extra mile to find women," he said to SvD.

However, old patterns and traditional values among the hiring companies may also be responsible for the slow change.

"Among the candidates there's always a larger percentage of women than the percentage hired. In the end, the companies choose who they want to proceed with," said Carina Nordgren, partner at Heidrick & Struggle, to SvD.

Michaël Berglund is a recruitment company working actively to reach a more even distribution of the sexes.

Story continues below…

"There's loads to be done. One demand I always have is that there has to be at least one woman among the final candidates, and vice versa in female-dominated trades. I don't buy that there are companies without a single woman in management, that the company can't find anyone competent," said CEO Michaëla Blomquist to SvD.

At Michaël Berglund women accounted for 40 percent of the new recruitments last year.

Michaëla Blomquist, however, won't be satisfied until that figure is 50-50.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

13:00 February 11, 2012 by canuk
thats because women in general make horrible bosses.
13:21 February 11, 2012 by swe-usa
So idealistic 50-50 is. Rather waste of time also.
14:00 February 11, 2012 by Abe L
What sex your executives have should really not matter. You need the right person for the job. Wether it's a man or a woman or a blind peg-legged artificially enhanced lab rat should really not matter.

Recruitement companies should not have a responsibility to find more women, they should have an increased responsibility to find the right person for the job. The right person that increases revenue, profits and creates jobs for Swedes.
16:48 February 11, 2012 by scrawler
Its utter stupidity to select the boss based upon gender. Hey I don't why women are hue about this ! If they have right skills sure they will get top position apart from their slutty skills.

CEO and CTO means they should need some skills not a bosom.
21:38 February 11, 2012 by Douglas Garner
Interesting descrimination article. Sounds like someone wants to blame the recruiters for the ultimate hiring decisions.

Also of particular interest is the link to the article that states half of Swedish mother's want to be stay at home moms... how does that fit with your 50-50 ideal!
22:27 February 11, 2012 by DAVID T
women should stay in the kitchen and out of the board room - once a month they should be locked in the celler :-)
04:50 February 12, 2012 by Marc the Texan
Everything seems to be in order here.
12:02 February 12, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
@David T - do I detect a doughty fighter for sexual equality? LOL!

The best person for the job should be selected every time - regardless of other issues.
12:37 February 12, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Douglas

Agree that the statistic that 50% of women would like to be housewives trivially leads to the conclusion that 66% of available candidates and appointees will be and should be men (if none of the men want to be house husbands).

Being a housewife is a full time job and these (and house husbands) are a very important asset to society, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be one.

The people who insist that women should represent 50% of Professors at Universities, 50% of Business leaders, etc... should first take the 'I-would-prefer-to-be-a-house-wife/house-husband' statistics into account before they start to complain of imbalances and biases.
16:29 February 12, 2012 by Bolinb
So more than 50 % of appointments are male. Hmmm

What percentage of applicants are male?

What percentage of people are able to do that particular job?

And traditionally there are more men IN the work force than women?

What is the ratio of men to women looking for jobs?

What is the ratio of men to women in this Swedish society?

I am sure it is not 50/50. It would be a rare society if it was. Most societies in the world have more men than women. And not through design, (Well human design that is) It is a statistical fact that a higher percent of children born to a mother under 30 (I think is the year) are male and a higher percent born after the mother is 30 are female.

So where is the prejudice? Is it not those that are demanding 50/50? I agree there should be more women but that is part of the older (Aged) people in society. If someone can do the job a company should pick what they think is the best person. Male or female. I have known many incompetent male bosses in my time.
18:42 February 12, 2012 by swe-usa
This is the problem. 90% of men in the workplace will only think about 95% of the women naked who also work there. So if the workplace has a 50-50 split of women to men then way to much time is wasted with snuskiga thoughts. And this cannot not be changed. Now those are some important statistics. Haha!
01:00 February 14, 2012 by batista
Well done Swedish men! For once, you are good at something :). It is just the laws of nature - Men are better in management PERIOD
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