Following Norway’s controversial proposal in 2002 forcing companies to increase the number of women on corporate boards from 6% to 40% Norwegian chairmen and investors were despondent claiming “We don’t know where to find qualified women”.
The response of Elin Hurvenes was to set up the Professional Boards Forum. In a series of pioneering events she brought together leading chairmen and investors and women ready and capable of taking on roles as non-executive directors. The events gave the chairmen and investors an instant insight into the skills and capabilities these women could bring to a board.
The Forum provided greater exposure, profile and confidence for well-qualified women and brought them to attention of investors and chairmen at an unprecedented way. It created new networks, new opportunities and new appointments.
Relying on corporate sponsors Elin enlisted the support of Telenor, Hafslund, KPMG, Hydro, BKK, Holberg Fondene, AIG, Verdane Capital, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, The Ministry for Trade, Innovation Norway and others. The Norwegian website is www.styrefagligmoteplass.no
In 2008 Elin set up the Forum in the UK www.boardsforum.co.uk with business partner Jane Scott.
Leading UK chairmen such as Sir Philip Hampton, Alison Carnwath, Sir Mike Rake, Roger Carr and Glen Moreno have attended the Forum along with several others from the FTSE100 / 250 actively seeking to increase the number of women on UK boards.
In the UK the Forum is supported by Accenture, Anglo American, Royal Bank of Scotland, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Vodafone. For more information about the UK see under Events.
Elin is currently busy developing the Professional Boards Forum in France, Holland, Spain and Australia.