How Denmark plans to get more women in leading jobs

How Denmark plans to get more women in leading jobs
Women attend a conference for female business leaders in 2015. File photo: Sara Gangsted / Ritzau Scanpix
There are too few women in leading roles at Danish companies, and change in the area is currently too slow, Minister for Gender Equality Eva Kjer Hansen has said.

In partnership with Copenhagen Business School and seven different recruitment firms, Hansen has announced a new ‘codex’ which she believes will have a positive impact on the issue.

“I can see that it is taking too long and that we are not making enough progress in regard to getting enough women at this level. And that is unfortunate, because it means we are not using the full talent potential of Danish society,” the minister said.

“We still have far too few women in leadership positions and on boards,” she added.

According to Hansen’s ministry, just under 15 percent of directors and 19 percent of board members at Danish companies are women.

Over half of all companies in Denmark do not have a single woman on their boards, according to the gender equality ministry.

The so-called codex developed by the ministry, CBS and recruitment firms includes eight principles which the participating recruitment agencies will be obliged to follow. This will mean a minimum of 33 percent of candidates put forward by the agencies for their customers will be women.

Additionally, the codex will aim to increase awareness of subconscious or unintended prejudices which can influence the recruitment process.

One firm to have signed up to the scheme is Spencer Stuart, which specialises in the recruitment and assessment of candidates for executive roles.

Tobias Petri, a partner in the company, supports the initiative.

“We need to increasingly look at what female candidates can do, rather than what they have done in the past. That will bring focus more onto skills, rather than experience,” Petri said.

While he hopes the codex can change the current status quo, he stressed that companies also needed to get on board.

The recruitment firms will report the results of the scheme to CBS, which will monitor its overall effect. The university will publish an annual report on its progress.

READ ALSO: More women at the top in Danish companies: DI

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