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Business lobby: Women increase board seats at stock-listed firms

Women now account for more board positions in stock-listed companies than ever before. According to the Finnish Chamber of Commerce, women now occupy 27 percent of board seats in all companies listed on the local stock exchange, up from 25 percent last year.

Pukumiesten kenkiä.
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

A fresh report on women’s representation in the corporate sector finds that a record-high 27 percent of board positions on stock listed companies in Finland are occupied by women.

The study released by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce indicates that women also account for 33 percent of board positions on large listed companies. However women are not as well-represented in smaller companies.

The trend is clearly upwards: nearly a decade ago in 2008, women held just 12 percent of board positions on stock-listed companies.

Slow progress to CEO's suite

While women are making inroads in the boardroom, their progress has been slower getting into the post of chief executive. The chamber reports that a female CEO of a listed company is still largely a rarity. In June, women held the chief executive’s position in just seven of 130 stock market firms.

"Nowadays, women are increasingly being selected to replace men. If we don’t take into account board members who are re-elected, women represented 35 percent of all new board appointments in 2017," noted Antti Turunen, a lawyer with the Finnish chamber.

Since 2007 efforts have been made to increase the number of female board members in listed companies by imposing a binding governance provision which promotes hiring members of both sexes to board positions.

Companies that do not follow the recommendation are required to provide a public report of their board hiring practices.

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