Iceland introduces gender quotas on corporate boards

The Icelandic parliament has passed a law on gender quotas on corporate boards. Companies with more than 50 employees must have at least 40 per cent of both genders represented on their boards by September 2013. “I am convinced that the adoption of this law will benefit Icelandic society and industry. An increased number of female managers in the industry will create greater growth, improved business and increased gender equality,” the Icelandic Minister for Gender Equality, Árni Páll Árnason, says.

The 4th March the Icelandic parliament adopted a legislative reform to promote gender equality in the boards of publicly owned companies (ohf.*) and public limited companies (hf.) having at least 50 employees. Boards composed of more than three persons must consist of at least 40 per cent of each gender by September 1st 2013.

Moreover, companies with 25 or more employees are required to disclose the number of men and women employed as well as the number of men and women in management positions.

* Publicly owned companies (opinbert hlutafélag), abbreviated ohf., is a variant of private limited companies established in Icelandic law in 2006. The companies are fully publicly owned, either by state, municipality, or both.