Quota Law

The Norwegian 40% Quota Law for Women on Boards

The 40% women on boards legislation was first proposed in 2002 by the then Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Ansgar Gabrielsen on and affected all the Oslo Stock Exchange listed companies and many others. With 6% women on Norwegian boards at the time he’s main argument was that as a nation we needed to utilise the full talent pool and that more diverse boards would be good for business.

The law is severe. It gives the Government the right to de-list a company from the Stock Exchange or close it down. The proposal was, not surprisingly, met with fierce opposition from the entire Norwegian business community and most women too.

Initially the companies were given a 2 year “stay of execution”, an opportunity to comply voluntary before the law would be passed. As no significant increase occurred the Minister ensured the law was passed in January 2005.

By 1st of January 2008 all the companies affected by the law had complied raising the level of women on Norwegian boards to 44%.


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