Maryland Women's Heritage Center

Revealed: Women Rule Norway's Boardrooms with 40% in Power

>> Norway leads the way for equality with the most women in the boardroom at 39.7%.

>> SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk have created an infographic showing the disparity between men and women across various sectors around Europe.

>> Statistics show that the UK has 26.25% of women in its boardrooms, compared to only 19.92% of women in the U.S.

Top Five Countries

Whilst the number of women in the boardroom has been improving over the years as an attempt to address the disparity between men and women, Scandinavian countries take the lead with nearly 40% of women in the boardroom from top companies in Norway and Sweden. The UK has 26.25% of women in its boardrooms compared to only 19.92% of women in the U.S. Here's a list of the top five countries:

1. Norway - In 2007, Norway's government introduced a quota which needed at least 40% of women to be on the board for businesses in an attempt to address the gender imbalance. Whilst the law proved to be controversial, nearly ten years later the country takes first place for the most women in the boardroom.

2. Sweden - In 2016, Sweden announced that it wanted to follow in Norway's footsteps and introduce quota for the number of women in boardrooms, but more recently this bill was scrapped as opposition parties felt it was up to businesses to decide and let women gain positions on merit. Despite dropping this idea, Sweden takes second place with 37.6% of women in the boardroom.

3. France - Taking strides to become Western Europe's leading country for women in the boardroom, there is also a quota in place for the amount of women in boardrooms. The French take third place behind Sweden by just 0.1% with 37.5% of women in the boardroom.

4. Italy - With 32.2% of women in the boardroom, Italy joins the top five for representation of women in the boardroom. Italy also has a quota in place to address the disparity in boardrooms, along with Norway and France.

5. Finland - Joining the top five, with 30.9% of women in boardrooms - Finland has made impressive progress amongst its European peers despite not having any gender quotas in place

Bottom Five Countries

1. Hungary - Taking the spot for the worst gender disparity is Hungary, with only 4.55% of women in boardrooms compared to an overwhelming 95.4% of men. In recent years, the European Union attempted to make quotas a requirement for all states, but Hungary opposed this on ideological grounds.

2. Czech Republic - Lagging behind the European average, Czech Republic only has 6.17% of women in their boardrooms. However, over recent years there has been some growth in issues surrounding diversity and gender imbalance in the country - the government and EU are seeking solutions to close the gap.

3. Russia - Being the largest country by area and population in Europe (although it also resides in part of the Asian continent), Russia also remains behind the European average, with only 7.5% of women being in boardrooms compared to 92.5% of men.

4. Portugal - Part of southwestern Europe, Portugal only has 10.1% of women in its boardrooms compared to 89.9% of men.

5. Greece - Faring better than other countries in the bottom four, Greece's boardrooms have 14.3% of women in their boardrooms, with 85.7% of men.

Ian Wright from SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk stated: "Across all sectors, there is a great disparity between women and men in senior positions - especially in the boardrooms. The research shows there is a greater number of women in higher education, but this isn't reflected in a number of industries - and many are set back by the gender pay gap."

Gender Imbalance in Business

To see the gender parity of women in business, or for more statistics on how nations compare you can take a look at SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk's tool here.

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