More Danish boardroom jobs going to women: DI

Danish legislation on equal numbers of men and women in management has been a good framework for development, says the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI).

More Danish boardroom jobs going to women: DI
Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Over the past four years, several boardroom and management positions have gone to women, writes

More women are entering boardrooms and management at Danish companies, according to a new DI analysis. 

In 2013, a new law was introduced requiring the 1,400 largest Danish companies to set targets for the proportion of women on their boards and to develop a policy to increase numbers of women in management.

Four years later, the government has now launched an evaluation process to investigate whether the legislation has led to a more equal gender composition in corporate management and on boards.

Ahead of that evaluation, DI has mapped out the development of women in Danish top positions since 2012. The survey shows a clear positive development.

The proportion of women elected to boards in listed companies has increased by 70 percent since 2012. At the time, just under 10 percent of board members were women, while that figure is today around 16-17 percent.

23 percent of all management positions in the private sector are currently occupied by women, while women comprise 33 percent of staff in total.

Today, in the large listed companies, or large cap companies, women comprise 26.4 percent of board members elected at AGMs.

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Charlotte Rønhof, deputy director at DI, is pleased to see the increase. She emphasises that the Danish legislation on the issue provides the basis to further the development.

“It is worth noting that Norwegian companies, who have had mandatory quotas for women on boards for the past ten years, have not got more female chief executives. Meanwhile, in Denmark we can celebrate the fact that the proportion of women has increased – both in corporate management and in boardrooms,” said Rønhof.

Long before it became mandatory by law in Denmark, Radiometer, which makes measuring equipment for the health sector, actively worked to ensure its top positions were filled men and women in equal numbers.

“We are conscious of the fact that we like diversity. For us, diversity is not only about gender, but it’s a good place to start. The more different we are, the better we function as a team,” said Henrik Schimmell, CEO at Radiometer.

The company is a good example of how things are headed in the right direction when it comes to distributing top positions in Denmark more equally between genders.

Even though more women are occupying positions on boards as well as in management, Denmark has not yet reached the finish line, writes DI. Rønhof emphasises that there are other aspects that are important in getting more women to pursue leadership careers.

“It remains important to get more women to choose an education aimed at a career in the private sector and that women leave more parental leave and other fixed-term duties in the home to their partners, the DI deputy director said.

At Radiometer, CEO Schimmell believes the law on setting targets for more women in Danish boardrooms is a good tool and that it sends a positive signal. 

He is not a supporter of quotas that force companies to comply, saying that competency should always precede factors such as gender.

Schimmell says that in his view, equality is a long-term process that starts at recruitment and continues with the development of talents, where equal numbers of men and women should be identified and matured for future leadership positions. 

“When we look at the total talent pool in the company, it is important that we constantly consider the mix of genders and in that way ensure that we always have a diverse group available when we recruit internally for top positions,” the CEO said. 

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Denmark’s toy giant Lego offers staff bonus after bumper year

Danish toymaker Lego, the world's largest toymaker, Denmark's Lego, said on Tuesday it will offer its 20,000 employees three extra days of holiday and a special bonus after a year of bumper revenues.

Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022.
Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022. File photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Already popular globally, Lego has seen demand for its signature plastic bricks soar during the pandemic alongside its rapid expansion in China.

“The owner family wishes to… thank all colleagues with an extra three days off at the end of 2021,” the company said in a statement.

The unlisted family group reported a net profit of more than 6.3 billion Danish kroner (847 million euros) for the first half of 2021.

Revenues shot up 46 percent to 23 billion kroner in the same period.

It had been “an extraordinary year for the Lego Group and our colleagues have worked incredibly hard,” said the statement, which added that an unspecified special bonus would be paid to staff in April 2022.

Lego, a contraction of the Danish for “play well” (leg godt), was founded in 1932 by Kirk Kristiansen, whose family still controls the group which employs about 20,400 people in 40 countries.

READ ALSO: Lego profits tower to new heights as stores reopen