The largest companies continue to improve the gender balance on boards and in management, shows new report from the Danish Business Authority.

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DI Business News

More women at the top in Danish companies

The percentage of women on boards and in management in Denmark is increasing. Today 35% of companies have achieved gender balance, shows new report from the Danish Business Authority. Good news, says DI.

Male-dominated boards at larger Danish companies are on the decrease. According to the Danish Business Authority, an increasing number of companies fulfil new requirements for the gender composition at top management levels, which came into force in 2012.

In 2017, 35.6% of the country’s largest companies achieved gender balance, compared to 33.3% last year. In the first evaluation from 2014, every fourth boardroom member was a woman.

See: The Danish Business Authority’s report (in Danish)

- We’re seeing a really positive and encouraging shift where a third of companies have successfully achieved gender balance. This ensures more diversity in management, says Mette Fjord Sørensen, Head of Research, Diversity and Higher Education at the Confederation of Danish Industry.

The increase of women in senior positions helps broaden the pool of qualified individuals that companies can draw upon, thereby strengthening competitiveness, she explains. 

The Confederation of Danish Industry hopes to see more women appointed to boards and management.

- We will continue our work to show companies how they can get more women in higher management levels, says the DI Director, and continues:

- This isn’t about making men and women the same. It’s about equal opportunity and about gender not playing a role when opportunity presents itself. 

See also: Senior management: Three women strengthen building materials giant

This isn’t about making men and women the same. It’s about equal opportunity and about gender not playing a role when opportunity presents itself. Mette Fjord Sørensen, Chef for forskning, videregående uddannelser og mangfoldighed

Requirements for other management levels as well

The Danish Business Authority’s compliance report is based on random sampling among 160 companies, corresponding to 10% of the companies covered by the law. The rules apply to companies with a net revenue of at least DKK 313 million and 250 full-time employees.

The law states that companies must set targets for the gender composition on boards, and 96.3% of companies fulfilled this requirement in 2017. There is thus a small residual group that still fails to comply.

In terms of the management body, 82.6% fulfil the requirement of establishing and reporting on their gender equality policy. Hence, according to the Business Authority, there is “a significant” residual group that has not yet fulfilled requirements. Several of these have attempted to establish a policy.

- The Business Authority assesses that such reports do not sufficiently constitute an actual policy in accordance with legal requirements, says the report. 

See also: Opinion: Three ways to get more women into leadership positions

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