Women Hold Less than 35% of Leadership Positions in Large Companies Skip to content

Women Hold Less than 35% of Leadership Positions in Large Companies

By Larissa Kyzer

Ten years after a law was enacted to rectify gender imbalances on corporate boards, women still only fill less than a quarter of CEO and chair positions in Icelandic businesses, according to Statistics Iceland.

The proportion of women on boards for companies with more than 50 employees was just under 35% last year, having increased around one per cent from the year before. Per a law that was passed ten years ago, boards should never be less than 40% female—or less than 40% male for that matter. Women have not achieved the aimed-for 40% of corporate leadership positions since the law went into effect.

In smaller companies, where there are fewer than 50 employees, women make up an even smaller percentage of leadership positions, or 26% last year.

Hulda Ragnheiður Árnadóttir, chair of the Association of Women in Industry, told RÚV that the percentage of women in leadership positions increased significantly after the law was first passed, but little has changed since then and she believes that little will change in the absence of penalties.

Share of women in boards of directors by enterprise size 2009-2019
Statistics Iceland.

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