This AFP article reports on Norwegian legislation that requires public companies to have corporate boards that are approximatley 40% female as of Jan. 1, 2008 or else close up shop. No companies appear to be at risk for non-compliance.
Call it a target, quota, or part of Norway’s social fabric. I am sure there will be plenty of feminist studies showing that this law is good for Norwegian business. My questions tend toward the less economic: What are the day-to-day emotional consequences of this type of law? Will women (and the men who work with them) wonder if they were chosen for their gender, not for their abilities? Does such a rule cause women to be taken less seriously than their male counterparts? Are the women who fill these corporate boards those with profiles most like men’s?