Norway vs. the House of Lords - do quotas for women in business work?
The event comes a month after the House of Lords asked the government to oppose EU proposals for quotas for a minimum 40% representation of women on boards by 2020.
Hosted by the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce, the event aims to inform business leaders about the issues surrounding quotas. It is sponsored by Nordea Bank, Europe’s largest renewable energy company Statkraft and executive coaching company The Results Centre.
Norway was the first European country to impose quotas ten years ago, passing a 40% quota law for women on public boards in 2008. The NBCC, the Norwegian Embassy, and Innovation Norway are running the event in collaboration to share experiences and encourage debate about promoting gender equality in business
Entitled & lsquo;The Quota Truth – 10 Years On’, the event is taking place at The Geological Society in Piccadilly from 6pm to 9pm. The expert panel will discuss the commercial and cultural impact of quotas for women on public company boards, addressing key questions such as:
What is the empirical evidence in support of the Norwegian 40% quota law on business results?
What lessons can be learnt from Norway and should other governments look to enforce such a law? What would be done differently?
What can businesses do to increase a more diverse and gender balanced workforce?
Panel members include Denise Wilson, CEO of Women on Boards: the Davies Review, which was commissioned by Business Secretary Vince Cable and Lord Davies, Kristian Siem, founder of Siem Industries, Mike Walker, MD of Progressive GE, Eli Saetersmoen, MD of Falck Nutec and Hege Solbakken, CEO of the Offshore Media Group.
Agnes Bamford, who is a partner in coaching company and event sponsor The Results Centre (www.theresultscentre.com) is originally from Norway, and specialises in cross cultural issues and managing transition in the workplace. Having written several articles on the subject of gender quotas, Agnes explains why the company felt it was important to support the event.
“As we work with executives across the UK, Europe and beyond, the issue of under representation of women at the most senior levels of business is highly relevant,” she comments. “We are fortunate in the UK to have the opportunity to learn from the Norwegian precedent. With the House of Lords joining the debate, there is a great deal of emotive discussion amongst industry and parliament about the value of quotas and how the system could work. This event aims to provide the opportunity to air and evaluate the different arguments surrounding the issue.”
To find out more about the event, or to enquire about booking a place, visit www.nbccuk.com/qppI/leadership-event-quotas-women-on-boards.