There's been a lot of discussion about how to bridge not only the wage gap — wherein women are compensated less than their male counterparts in the same positions — but also the gender gap, which occurs when there are disproportionately few women in the higher management positions. For example, women hold only 15% of board seats, but make up a much larger percentage of college and graduate school degree holders (including MBAs).
In 2002, Norway took the radical step of enacting a quota system: 40% of the board members of publicly listed and government owned companies must be women. Since then other European countries have either followed with their own quota system, or are considering doing so.
This week the New York Times' Blog Room For Debate, asked a few leading economists their takes on this plan — and how it's worked in the past eight years for Norway.
The most interesting result?
- There was a drop in the value of the companies when they complied with the quota — not because the new board members were women, but because they had less management experience than male board members and female board members selected prior to the quota. This seems fairly cut and dry — less qualified leadership lowers a company's overall value. But that leads me to, can women be best qualified for upper management board member level positions? And how?
Finish reading this post and vote on a poll about quotas at Life Forward.