Government Mandates to Require Gender Diversity and Eliminate the Glass Ceiling?

The latest TrendWatcher has been released, and it takes a look at the ongoing quest to shatter the glass ceiling and promote gender diversity in the highest echelons of the business world. Although women have made great strides in the workplace, most of us are aware that there are still gender discrepancies; from women earning less money than men to an egregious lack of women executives and board members. It’s not that savvy businesswomen haven’t achieved seats on the board – they’re just extremely underrepresented.

In 2003, Norway passed legislation mandating that public companies address gender imbalance on their boards. The requirement? Public companies would be required to have at least 40% of their board seats filled by women by 2008. Surprising many critics of the legislation, Norway now boasts an unprecedented 44.2% board representation rate. But the law is still controversial. Does setting a government mandate unfairly eliminate experienced male board members who are more qualified? Does it create a situation in which women are seen as token members of the board – tarnishing some of the respect garnered by women who have advanced in the business world without mandated quotas? Or does it indeed push companies to pursue high potential female employees and break through the glass ceiling at a pace they currently have been unwilling or unable to hasten?

Read the TrendWatcher titled, Skirting the Glass Ceiling: Mandating Diversity.

Or, listen to the Total Picture Radio podcast, which features an interview between TPR's Peter Clayton and author Lorrie Lykins.
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.