The Norwegian gender quota law requiring that the boards of public limited companies consist of at least 40 percent women caused both excitement and indignation. Now it is being copied in many European countries.
All of a sudden there was no escape: Publicly listed companies in Norway had to comply with the law requiring a 40 % female quota for board members. And indeed: It quickly worked. What happened?
Norway’s demand for 40 per cent female board members is unique. How could such a radical gender equality measure be implemented in a business world which is opposed to quotas? And by a minister from the anti-quota right wing party Høyre?
Political committees in Norwegian local authorities should have a representation of at least 40 per cent of each sex. In practice, however, it does not work like this. The law on quotas often has to yield to arguments that it constitutes a threat to local democracy. Ingrid Guldvik has written her doctoral thesis on quotas and gender justice.