Setting the Scene: Women on Boards in Countries with Quota Regulations

  • Heike Mensi-Klarbach
  • Cathrine Seierstad
  • Patricia Gabaldon


The underrepresentation of women on corporate boards in Europe and across the world has received increased attention, especially over the last 15 years. Although there is an overall consensus that increasing the share of women in areas of power and influence is important for a number of reasons, the best manner in which to accelerate the process has been debated both between and within countries. Consequently, with an increased focus on women on boards and the use of substantially different strategies among countries, we argue that that there is a need for a better understanding of what is happening within the European setting in relation to women on boards and the use of strategies.

This chapter sets out to provide an introduction to Gender Diversity in the Boardroom: The Use of Different Quota Regulations. We provide a rationale for focusing on the eight European countries—Norway, Spain, Iceland, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany—in this edited volume. All of these countries have introduced some sort of quota regulations in the period 2003–2015. Yet we also acknowledge that although quotas have been introduced in the eight countries, we see great variations in the design and regulations of the laws.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heike Mensi-Klarbach
    • 1
  • Cathrine Seierstad
    • 2
  • Patricia Gabaldon
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.School of Business and ManagementQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.IE Business SchoolIE UniversityMadridSpain

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