According to a new study by Prönö, the representation of women on boards of Finnish listed companies is still low, with only 28% of board members being women, a slight increase of 1% from the previous year.
The report also found that the typical board member is a 56-year-old man and that 63% of boards have seen changes in the past year, but the proportion of women has not increased significantly.
In newly listed companies, the representation of women is even lower, at 23%, with 92% of board members being Finnish and an average age of 54 years.
“The diversity of Finnish listed companies’ boards is lacking, as evidenced by the low representation of women on them. According to our recent report, only 28% of board members in these companies are women, and only 7% are female chairpersons. Furthermore, out of the 52 First North listed companies, 11, or one fifth, have no female representation on their boards at all,” stated Helene Auramo, CEO of Prönö and Future Board Member of the Year.
European Parliament Implements Gender Quotas for Listed Company Boards
The European Parliament has recently implemented a directive on gender quotas for boards of listed companies, requiring that the underrepresented gender make up at least 40% of board members. This applies to all companies with more than 250 employees in the EU and gives them a transition period until July 2026. The quotas have already proven effective in countries such as Norway and France, where the proportion of women on boards has increased to 40% and 44%, respectively.
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Diversity in Board Composition: The Importance of Gender, Age, and Professional Background
However, diversity on boards should not be limited to gender. The report also found that 77% of board members of Finnish listed companies are Finnish citizens and that only 9% were born in the 1980s or later.
To build a diverse board, companies should consider their goals for the coming years and the expertise needed to achieve them, and try to include representatives of different genders, ages, and professional backgrounds.
“Diverse expertise is crucial for the success of boards. We should not just focus on gender diversity, but also consider the professional backgrounds, nationalities, and ages of board members. A diverse group is able to examine changes from multiple perspectives and adapt quickly, which is especially important in a rapidly changing world,” said Auramo.
How to find the right diverse candidates to company boards?
“Finding diverse board candidates doesn’t have to be a challenge. At Prönö, we have a platform that connects companies with professionals from a variety of backgrounds who are interested in board and advisory board positions. With over a thousand diverse candidates to choose from, companies can easily find the right fit for their needs. And for professionals looking to join a board or advisory board, our platform is free to use. We encourage everyone to showcase their interest and connect with interesting companies through Prönö,” advises Helene Auramo, CEO of Prönö.
If you’re looking to join a board or advisory position, Prönö offers a free platform to make yourself available to companies seeking diverse talent. Sign up now to become a board member!
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