Minister Arhinmäki: Gender quotas for boards of listed companies
The Finnish minister in charge of gender equality affairs Mr Paavo Arhinmäki proposes including an objective of applying gender quotas to the boards of listed companies in the Government Action Plan on Gender Equality. If women's status in decision-making in the business world does not improve otherwise, legislative measures are needed according to Arhinmäki.
"If an equal representation of the genders is not reached in the listed companies in Finland by the year 2013, I propose laying down legal provisions on gender quotas on the boards of listed companies, a minimum of 40 per cent of both genders," Arhinmäki stated at a seminar on women's status in political decision-making held in Helsinki on 22 September.
Arhinmäki however pointed out that quota legislation is no gender equality automat and that neither is decision-making only figures:
"We need both female and male decision-makers who are willing to advance gender equality and bring gender equality issues to the political agenda. Studies regarding enforcement of quotas have shown that quota legislation does not automatically lead to taking gender equality into account when making decisions. Equal decision-making also means that the consequences of decisions for women and men are already taken into account when preparing the decisions."
Arhinmäki hopes that Finland will show an active involvement and openness also in international contexts.
"Finland has much to give as far as equal decision-making powers are concerned. We however must keep our eyes open for good practices developed in other countries, too."More information
Minna Kelhä, Special Adviser, tel. 040 6873835, email@example.com