11 Jan 2017

Swedish bill wants to make 40% of board members women

9:59 am on 11 January 2017

Sweden's minority centre-left coalition will introduce legislation next month to make listed companies increase the number of women in their boardrooms.

two businesswomen handshaking

European countries are introducing laws to get more gender balance on company boards. Photo: 123RF

The bill will stipulate that by 2019 at least 40 percent of board members of listed firms should be women.

It will need support from the centre-right opposition to become law.

The proportion of women on boards in Sweden rose to 32 percent last year.

Similar laws have been - or are in the process of being - introduced in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

In New Zealand last year, 17 percent of directors were women, falling to 13 percent in the final quarter of 2016.

The information derived from 125 NZX-listed companies.

Two New Zealand heavyweights - Governance New Zealand and Women on Boards chief executive Linda Noble and Canterbury University dean of law Ursula Cheer - voiced support for quotas in New Zealand to get more women on boards.

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