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Director General Arni Hole Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Societal Development through Gender Equality – the Norwegian Experience.

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Presentation on theme: "Director General Arni Hole Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Societal Development through Gender Equality – the Norwegian Experience."— Presentation transcript:

1 Director General Arni Hole Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Societal Development through Gender Equality – the Norwegian Experience


3 Status of women in the economy in Norway
80 % of women between 25 and 66 are working 40 % work part-time (13 % men work part-time) Norway has appr. 90 % coverage of early child care to a maximum tax (up to six years of age) 43 % women on company boards 62 % women in university education, though only 20 % female professors 27 % female top managers in the State sector (ministries etc), 47 % middle managers 20 % female top managers in private sector 36 % female middle managers in private sector 42% female top managers in Municipal sector (though only 18,4 % head of Municipal councils)

4 Statistics, continued Parity in the Cabinet 39.7 % women in Parliament
Appr. 40 % on an average in the elected Municipal bodies (430 Municipalities) Paid Parental leave: 56 weeks with 80 % refunding of your salary (either parent), or 46 weeks with 100 % refunding, up to a certain level. 10 weeks mandatory for the fathers, appr. 90 % enjoy this non-transferable quota 2008: 26,7 % of the fathers share more of the whole period with the mothers; which is a most wanted trend

5 From EU’s conference on GE and Economic growth and employment in 2009
There is a positive relation between GNP and UNs index for GE. A EU-report from 2009 says the EU nations have a growth potential on 27 %, given GE in the labour market. In the EU women have filled 6 million of the 8 mill new jobs created since 2000

6 Goldman and Sachs says GNP will grow with increased female participation in the formal labour market Leaving all other things equal,G-S. calculate 21 % growth in GNP in Italy, 19 % in Spain Considerable growth in GNP in the Asian Region if closing the gender gap in work life The combination of an ageing workforce and a more skill-dependent economy means that countries will have to make better use of their female population More women than men, world wide, tend to finish their higher education, university level By 2011, 2.6 mill.more women than men will be studying in American Universities

7 Modern economy includes Gender Equality Policies , and it deals with both genders.
Talents are divided evenly among the genders; no nation nor private enterprise, can afford to loose out on talents Tax-income to be redistributed, will increase, when both genders are producing values and paid decent wages Decent wages, also for women, combats poverty. Jobs paid with decent wages empower persons To be able to engage all grown persons in gainful work, one needs to invest in provisions for the families, like Early Child Care , parental leave and flexibility in work life

8 Concensus in politics on family-work life provisions build upon GE, demands ”killing off ”some stereotypes: All cultures and traditions carry stereotypes and mental images of what is a women, a man, a boy, a girl or ”family life” Every country must scrutinise their own cultures and traditions to identify and eradicate stereotypes that reproduces unwanted inequality Inequality in the labourmarket, in business life and in the families, is the enemy of modernisation, value-creating, innovation, profitability, reputation-building

9 Human Rights and international law are parts of the politics
Alliances with experts in international law is needed Use the HR-conventions to ”wash” trough national laws Use a distinct gender perspective to assess national laws ,regulations and measures in all sectors

10 Some simple reflections….
How can any firm or enterprise afford not to engage all the creativity it can lay hands on ? To catch the best people; to sustain diversity, will give a competitive egde The market is diversified and represents many and very different stakeholders. Strategic decisions must be made by a board and a leadership that mirrors this complex diversity How can any industry or sector, loose the opportunity to build a good reputation in the market by not including both genders and recruiting for diversity ? Is there a “board –room gene” expressed only in males ?

11 Methods and tools What kind of ambitions does a nation or an enterprise have, as to reach GE and thus : A family friendly work–life ? The ambitions will define the methods and tools Promoting equal chances for men and women, boys and girls can be done by legislation securing formal rights and through campaigns, action plans and advocacy However, securing equal outputs/ real and material GE, demands affirmative actions and sometimes quotas by law Norway has used a mix of both the last 50 years. Norway has worked hard to change values, cultures and traditions and employed lots of agents

12 Stereotypes… No one is free from stereotypes; gender biases are carried by both genders, and by different social groups towards each other It is part of beeing human to carry cultural codes , simply to be able to navigate in a complex world However, sometimes the codes/stereotypes are harmful to what we want to achieve; as human individuals, as an enterprise, as a nation It is all about changing values ! Politics must be based upon values suited for today and tomorrow.

13 Stereotyping is done everywhere….
Avoid the fallacy in believing that only men carry stereotypes, not women. Still women speak of “the husbands helping out in the house and with the children”. Again, exclusion of the men, or men as mere “assistants” in the house. As if the house work is not a shared responsibility, regardless of gender. Women must let go, too. When Parliament voted for gender balance quotas on boards of private companies in 2003, the elite men of the upper echelons of economic life in Norway exclaimed: Able women cannot be found, the women will not take on such responsibilities, our firm will be broke or have to flee Norway as to prosper etc etc. - None of this was of course true. It was stereotyping Many men in decisionmaking positions speak of “typical female workplaces or jobs”. There are no such things. There are only historical and social traditions that have made women and men choose different occupations and professions.

14 Norwegian basic values
GE is seen as an intrinsic part of labor policies and the social dialogue between the State /Cabinet and the partners in work life. The tripartite cooperation between the State, Employers Federations and the Unions is conducted through the Main Agreement. GE and family issues has been lifted into this social dialogue since the 5o’ties Our National Insurance Scheme, covering almost all welfare issues like minimum pensions for all, sick insurance, unemployment benefits, parental benefits, reproductive rights and gender issues is a result of the tripartite cooperation, and of course the legislation passed in Parliament.(The financing is also tri-partite) Strong Gender Equality Law (cross-sectorial and governing also private sector) Continued %

15 Quotas 1993: The Parental Leave Scheme (in the National Insurance Act) was enlarged to 42 weeks of which 4 weeks was mandatory leave for fathers, not transferable to the mother. Unless the fathers take his leave, the family will loose the refunding of his salary. This is a typical quota (heavily debated at the time in business circles) 90 % of the fathers with the right to a quota, enjoys it (2008). This quota is enlarged to 6 weeks in 2005 and 10 weeks in With 56 weeks in total, 9 weeks are obligatory for the mother, 10 for the father and the remaining can be shared between them. Both have to qualify through work life before birth.

16 Quotas…. 1981: § 21 in the Gender Equality Law states that every public appointed committee, council, working group and delegation, shall have no les than 40 % of each gender 1993: The Municipal Act, requiring that all committees appointed by the politically elected Council, shall have a % gender balance. Affirmative action by law. (Overseen by County Governors). 2003: 4 laws amended in Parliament: The Public Limited Company law (the large enterprises noted at the stock exchange and with a wide spread of shares), the law governing the wholly State Owned Companies , the inter-municipally company law, and the Companies ruled by specific laws. A very strong affirmative action, the requirement of a 40% quotas of the underrepr. gender in the boardrooms. Smart economy and democratic/fair. (Overseen and with sanctions by the National Business Register)

17 The most radical quota ever….
Norway was the first country to use affirmative action in this manner (Spain, Netherlands have followed suit, France and UK is discussing, Sweden put i to a halt) Why quotas ? Quotas worked well in other sectors Women were increasingly filling top positions in politics, academia, management, public services But NOT in the powerful boardrooms of private enterprises Cross-party agreement that Norway needed a redistribution of power within the private sector, to make use of all talents, heads and competence

18 Quotas….. 2005: A new law governing cooperatives in agribusiness, forestry, consumers’ and housing coop’s. A requirement of 40 % women when the business has 1000 members or more.(the same sanctions as for the public ltd companies) 2009: Quota introduced for small companies where municipalities hold 2/3 of the stocks, demanding % gender balance on the boards. (Several 1000 companies produce welfare and services to the public, and should therefore mirror the population). Typical affirmative action.

19 Quotas work ! Mental images of gender will change !
From 2003 to 2009 we saw an increase from 7 % women to 4 1 % , on the boards of the Public Ltd. Companies (as mentioned above). On an average: 43 % women in all the 4 mentioned types of companies. The Coop’s are soon there. The women were not hard to find… These quotas has changed the mental images of women’s abilities and possibilities forever Research shows that diversity pays, at the bottom line of business. Strategic work in boardrooms needs to mirror the diversity outside; the complex markets and different demands. Half of the consumers are women, with their own purse The male roles and models of masculinity changed forever after introducing the father’s quota in the Parental Leave Scheme. After 16 years in action we can tell by research, that this law also has changed the women’s and mothers roles and how they perceive the balance between work and family life.

20 New research: 201 companies with 50 – 50 000 employees
Morten Huse (Oslo Business School)/Sabina Nielsen (CopenhagenBusiness School) 2010: ”The Contribution of Women on Boards of Directors”, accepted for publication in Corporate Governance: An International Review, shows: Boards with gender balance use more time on strategic controll mechanisms The same boards put heavy priorities on the boards own ”team-development” They have to a larger extent developed ”instructions” for good board governance They put more effort into competence building They have a lower level of conflict; making the board more effective

21 Prerequisites for using affirmative actions:
Use of quotas can only be valuable if women are visible, their competence ”seen” and valued. A society planning for women to be visible, needs parental leave systems, flexibility in work life for parents with small chiildren, full coverage of kindergarten places to an affordable price, public care for the elderly, sector-crossing gender equality law, a strong working environment law, equal pay for work of equal value and strong actions against family violence. Unless such systems are in place, there will be less chance of women beeing visible and eligable for high positons

22 Campaigns and programs work …
The National Employers Federation set up (2004) Female Future. A program to recruit and train women to board-room work that has been very successful. (Won a European Price). Similar programs are set up in the public sectors, in the financial sector (The programme ‘FUTURA’ since 2007) , with great success. Several databases have been set up with women’s CV’s to pick from, when you look for able women to be nominated for election to your board or to invite to compete for top management positions. Many different mentor-adept programs have been set up the last 15 years, most of them very successful Research and measurement is done to investigate the effects of diversity The University Act requires all colleges and universities to have a Gender Equality Action plan.

23 In any effort, program, action, measure or legal system, accountability rules:
Who is accountable and what are the sanctions when targets are not met ? One will never change the world with merely hopes, good intentions. Who /what could be positive models and set examples ? The road from well-meant rhetoric and dinner speeches - to material results, is hard and demand devoted and systematic work. It takes time. You need Cabinets, local Governments and boards with distinct political will. You need able partners for change, like Employers Federations, Trade Unions, NGO´s and International cooperation.

24 Using the media when advocating…
Whenever launching a project, a program, a campaign,a research result on GE/family policies, use the media Whenever an enterprise or a public institution is measured as to GE status/family friendly work life , involve the media Sell ”good stories” on GE /family policies exclusively to well known media houses or television Train the media people in GE and gender budgetting

25 Mission not yet accomplished in Norway
Or in any other country Let us work together and share experiences and lessons learned; this and other projects are good examples Let us do bench-marking GE /Family work-life balance means modernising a society, and it is good for business !

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