Implementation of diversity policies and actions to achieve gender equality

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Gender inequality remains a global phenomenon. Entry-level workforce is approximately 50/50 but the proportion of women drops slightly at every level. About 38% of managers are women, 33% of directors, 28% of senior vice presidents, and 21% of C-suite executives (Chilazi et al., 2021). Iceland has led the WEF list on gender equality for 12 years now, nevertheless, inequality persists in public interest entities. In March 2022, 20 companies are listed on Nasdaq Iceland, with CEO positions score 19-1 in the favour of men. Several Icelandic public companies held their annual meetings this week (mid March 2022) which has led to a lower average GemmaQ for the market, down to 6.9 from being 7.0. On average, there are 47% women board members and 27,7% women executives, down from being close to 30% in 2021 and 25% of the listed companies in Iceland have 0% women in their executive management team.

Iceland was the second country to enact a minimum 40% gender quota on corporate boards in 2010. The expected trickle-down effect from the quotas has not materialized. The objective of this study is to explore how to close the Gender Gap and achieve equal opportunities to reach top management positions. By applying mixed methods, survey data was gathered from 189 women business leaders and in-depth interviews were conducted with 22 women board members of all listed companies in Iceland. The study contributes to the literature on closing the gender gap by soliciting the views of women who currently hold top leadership and decision-making positions. The findings reveal that among their preferred solutions are: a gender-quota on top-management-team positions at the companies that fall under the board gender-quota legislation; an implementation of gender equality policy; and, that leading institutional investors implement a gender equality policy as part of their ownership strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2022
EventNordic Sociological Association Conference: Myths and Realities of the Nordic Welfare State - Háskóli Íslands, Reykjavík, Iceland
Duration: 10 Aug 202212 Aug 2022


ConferenceNordic Sociological Association Conference
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