The quotas intended to balance the gender ratio in Icelandic companies are effective as of September 2013, with 285 companies subject to the new legislation,130 of which have already fulfilled the conditions.
The Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers organized a well-attended convention to discuss diversity in leadership.
Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, former Minister of Finance and current minster of Economic Affairs, was among speakers and spoke of the pending balance of gender ratio in Icelandic boardrooms.
Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.
Steingrímur said positive developments in recent years indicate companies have begun to prepare for the pending legislation to come into effect, but more efforts are needed.
Icelandic companies have limited time to change the face of their boardrooms with only two annual general meetings before the law comes into effect. To fulfill the quota 192 women are needed in Icelandic boardrooms. The convention introduced a brochure containing the names of approximately 200 women interested in a place in company boardrooms. The brochure is intended to dispel the myth that women simply don’t run for a seat in company boardrooms.
Steingrímur is a firm believer in the effectiveness of the new legislation.
“We can’t give up just because the reception to the pending legislation is not celebrated or even taken seriously. The beginning stages are always difficult and the responses are born out of ignorance. Companies need to familiarize themselves with the thought behind the legislation,” Steingrímur was quoted by Rúv as saying.
Today is International Women’s Day 2012 and an appropriate day to discuss gender equality. The Center for Gender Equality or Jafnréttisstofnun hosted a busy schedule to celebrate the day.