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Government Urges Firms to Break Glass Ceiling

The government is urging Finland's largest companies to come up with ways of cultivating women for leadership positions.

The number of women board members in these companies is less than 20 percent.

In a letter to the Helsinki Stock Exchange's top one hundred companies, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and Minister of Social Affairs and Health Tuula Haatainen encouraged them to break the glass ceiling.

Vanhanen and Haatainen feel that there is no excuse for the shortage of women business leaders in a country where the female population is highly educated and very active in the work force.

The issue will also be taken up during an EU gender equality meeting in October.

In 2004, the government set a goal of having a 40 percent female presence on all state-run boards of directors. This target was met in March of this year.

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