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Report: Women on boards not reflected in management teams

The report found that a majority of women in management teams were leaders of so-called support functions.

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Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Women’s selection to the boards of stock-listed companies does not translate into more management positions for women, according to an analysis of 2018 data by the Finnish Chambers of Commerce.

Between 2013 and 2018 women’s representation on the boards of listed companies rose from 23 to 29 percent. At the same time, women increased their presence in management teams from 19 to 25 percent.

However the report noted that it was not possible to conclude from the data that women’s growing presence in board positions translated into their representation in management teams. It added that the situation varied widely among stock exchange firms.

According to the central chamber, women’s representation on corporate boards is high by international standards. However it noted that it is important to pay attention to the composition of management groups and women’s career paths as managers in a broader sense.

"A particular point of concern is the scarcity of women in business leadership positions – the majority of women working at the management level work managing so-called support functions," chamber attorney Antti Turunen said in a statement.

Turunen said that it is time to eliminate separate quotas for men and women.

"We need significantly more diversified approaches. Society has to dismantle the structural challenges that influence educational choices, combining work and family, as well as the training and career coaching provided to women," he continued.

The analysis examined all of Finland’s 126 companies with their primary listing on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

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