The number of women on boards of Finnish listed companies reached record numbers during the AGM season of 2016. Large listed companies have now 32 per cent women on boards, the highest score ever in Finland. Also the representation of women as CEOs of the listed companies reached record level: there are now five female CEOs in Finnish listed companies. This all has been achieved without quotas.

According to the most recent study by Finland Chamber of Commerce, the representation of women on the boards of the Finnish listed companies has grown and reached a new record level.

The largest representation of women is on large cap companies’ boards where women make up 32 per cent of the board members this year. The figure is exceptionally high by international standards, especially considering that Finland has not legislated quotas.

Also in small and medium cap companies the number of women on boards is increasing. In small cap companies last year’s figure of 19 per cent has increased into 20 per cent, while in medium cap companies last year’s figure of 24 per cent has increased into 26 per cent. Overall 25 per cent of the board members of all listed companies are women. Last year the number of women on boards was 24 per cent, whereas in 2008 women’s representation was only 12 per cent.

The study results also show that more and more often a woman is elected to replace a male board member. Women make up 35 per cent of new directors in 2016.

The representation of women on the boards of Finnish listed companies has been promoted by the Finnish Corporate Governance Code, which is a binding instrument for the listed companies. The self-regulatory Code includes a recommendation on the participation of both genders on boards. If both genders are not represented on the board, a public explanation is required.

Traditionally the number of female CEOs of the listed companies has been very low in Finland. It is for the first time that four percent of the CEOs are women. Now 5 CEOs out of 121 listed companies are women.

Finland Chamber of Commerce will publish its next Women Executives report in autumn 2016. The report will reveal whether this positive development continues especially on the executive level.

More information about the Women Leaders Program