During 2003 the Norwegian Gender Balance Law determined that each gender must be represented by 40% on listed companies' corporate boards. As expected, the law increased the proportion of women among business leaders, but the private sector's difference is still worryingly low.
Although women represent 42% of the Board members in publicly listed companies, they represent only 19% in private, non-listed companies. Let this sink for a moment, only 19%!
In Oslo and Viken -the two best performing counties- women represent only 20% of AS companies' board members. In Vestfold and Telemark, the share of participating is 19% and 18%, respectively.
Usually, the board members of private companies are direct shareholders, and the lower participation is partly explained by the smaller amount of shares in female hands.
Low number of female General Managers in ASs
The most significant gap is seen in managerial positions. According to the data of Statistics Norway, only 16.6% of women hold general management positions in private Limited Liability Companies (AS) and 7.7% in public Limited Liability Companies (ASA) as of 2020.
The correlation between representation in top-leadership positions and equity-holding is clear. As it is that a way to address the challenge is to encourage women to hold larger shares by investing capital in private companies, as a ticket to general management and board positions.
Research explains that women's low participation in investment activities is due to a lack of information and knowledge on investing and a lack of networks and role models. WIN is on a mission to change this, with the WIN Program - Startup Investment Training for Women, and the WIN Investment Network for women to evaluate local investment opportunities and invest together, leveraging the group's power.