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Only 11 Percent of Iceland’s CEOs Are Women

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Only 11 Percent of Iceland’s CEOs Are Women

Borgartún.

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Women make up only 11 percent of CEOs at the 100 largest Icelandic companies, despite the majority of recent university graduates in the country being women, RÚV reports. The numbers come from a recent assessment conducted by Capacent.

According to the assessment, the proportion of women decreases the higher in the companies’ organization one looks. While women make up 42 percent of specialists and men 58 percent within the companies, only 27 percent of managing directors and only 11 percent of CEOs are women.

These proportions are incongruent with the fact that graduates from the University of Iceland and Reykjavík University were 67 percent women last year and only 33 percent men. Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir, specialist at Capacent says last years’ numbers follow the trend over the last several years.

“This is really completely unacceptable. Especially because we are the world leaders in equal rights according to the World Economic Forum. We should be leading other countries by example and we are definitely not doing that. And we are not making full use of women’s talent, that much is clear,” Þórey stated.

A few years ago gender quota laws were put in place for company boards. Páll Harðarson, Managing Director of the Iceland Stock Exchange, says the rules have clearly not resulted in more women in leadership positions. He adds that employers cannot assume equality will come about on its own. “I simply think it’s time for investors to place gender equality very high on this list they consider when they invest in companies,” he stated.

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