Finland needs more women on listed company boards

Key findings from Prönö’s study on listed company boards in Finland 2021:

  • A typical Finnish board member is a 56-year-old Finnish man
  • Only 27% of board members are women, and only 7% of board chairs are women
  • Not a single woman sits on the boards of 19 out of 176 companies listed on the Helsinki stock exchange (in 2020, the number was 17).  The total number of companies in Helsinki stock exchange is 176

A study published by Prönö today reveals some disappointing statistics about the boards of directors of listed companies in Finland. Unfortunately, the statistics for 2021 are very similar to those for 2020 and show that there is still a long way to go.

Only 27% of board members are women, and 7% of board chairs are women

The percentages were the same last year, which means we haven’t seen any growth in these numbers, although there have been changes in board seats, and new companies have joined the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

“Despite the fact that 69 percent of these companies have made changes in their boards in the last year, we didn’t see improvement in the representation of women. We really need more women on those boards, and it would be good to see this change without any mandated quotas,” Helene Auramo, CEO of Prönö, says.

Women are underrepresented on boards

According to the study, a typical Finnish board member of a listed company is a 56-year-old Finnish man. 

An increasing number of Finnish listed companies have no women on their boards. There are currently no women on the boards of 19 companies, up from 17 boards last year, and boards with only one woman or no women at all make up 49 percent of listed companies in Finland.

“I have often heard that it is challenging to find women interested in being on boards, but it is not true. This is clear from our data at Prönö, where we can see that there are plenty of women available for board and advisory board positions,” explains Auramo.

Young people rarely get to the top

Professionals under 40 are rarely seen on boards. Only 7% of board members were born in 1980 or later, and just 34% of those young board members are women. Most often, they are Masters of Economics graduates, and many of them have worked as CEOs. 

“I am one of the youngest women on the board of a listed company in Finland. I didn’t realize that it was this rare to be in your thirties and on a listed company board before seeing these statistics. I must admit that it shocked me,” says Auramo.

If you are interested in joining a board of directors or an advisory board, you can make yourself available on Prönö. Join now!

If you are with a company that is interested in building a diverse board of directors, read more & contact us here


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