Engendering Change

Could Corporate Board Quotas Be Better For Business?

When, in 2002, Norwegian trade minister Ansgar Gabrielsen unveiled a radical new plan to put more women into his country's boardrooms, many Oslo business leaders were appalled, and Gabrielsen's own conservative party publicly disowned him. Gabrielsen's announcement – that the boards of major Norwegian companies would be compelled to include at least forty percent women – generated mocking headlines across Europe.

Today, just a decade after Norway began enforcing its corporate gender quotas, the jibes about "golden skirts" and "babes on boards" are long forgotten. Corporate board quotas have been imposed in Belgium, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, among other countries, and though early data is mixed, it suggests that the shift has meant a net gain from an earnings – as well as a social justice – perspective.

Please join New America NYC and the Royal Norwegian Consulate General for a discussion on corporate board quotas. What effect does the increasing visibility of women on boards have on women in the earlier stages of their careers? Do women leaders lead differently? Could gender quotas for corporate boards ever work in the United States?

A reception will follow.


Brigid Schulte
Director, Breadwinning & Caregiving Program, New America


Heidi Miller
Former President, JP Morgan International, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Turid Solvang
Managing Director, Norwegian Institute of Directors

Giacomo Landi
Executive Vice President and Head of DNB Americas, Den Norske Bank

Jay Newton-Small
Correspondent, TIME Magazine
Fellow, New America
Author, Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works

Special thanks to the Royal Norwegian Consulate General and the CORE: club for their generous support.