Gender Diversity in the Boardroom: The Multiple Versions of Quota Laws in Europe
The aim of this chapter is to discuss and make sense of similarities and differences with regard to the quota laws adopted within the eight countries discussed in this volume: Norway, Spain, Iceland, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. They all have, to date, introduced quota laws which are in many debates perceived as a unique tool to increase gender diversity on boards. What is evident is that a wide range of enabling/hindering forces, including the corporate governance structures, traditions, actors and history of equality initiatives, have led to significant variations in terms of approaches taken to increase the share of women on boards in the respective countries. It is also important to take these forces into consideration when making sense of the content, scope and acceptance of respective national quota laws.
In this chapter, we provide a holistic and comparative analysis of similarities and differences within the eight countries and, by doing so, aim to provide a better understanding of the introduction of different quota laws within the eight countries discussed. We argue that not only the different enabling/hindering forces, the historical development and the overall gender equality discourse, but also the corporate governance system influenced the specific country’s quota law design. This chapter also presents the key findings, and lessons learned, from this edited volume and indicates important areas for further research.
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