OSLO — Arni Hole remembers the shock wave that went through Norway’s business community in 2002 when the country’s trade and industry minister, Ansgar Gabrielsen, proposed a law requiring that 40 percent of all company board members be women.
The message here is that performance and aptitude are not the primary criteria for running a successful company. Boobs and a uterus are far better qualifications.
Indeed, the world has noticed: Spain and the Netherlands have passed similar laws, with a 2015 deadline for compliance. The French Senate will soon debate a bill phasing in a female quota by 2016, after the National Assembly approved the measure last week. Belgium, Britain, Germany and Sweden are considering legislation.Full speed ahead in destruction of merit based promotions...and how's that working out?
Using a common market-based measure of corporate governance, known as Tobin’s Q, the study found that companies in Norway actually performed an average of 20 percent worse the year after adopting the quotas, with those companies that were required to make the most drastic changes to their boards suffering the largest negative impact. The measure, named for the late James Tobin, the 1981 Nobel laureate in economics, is a ratio of a company’s market capitalization to the replacement cost of its assets, which economists consider to be the best proxy for investor confidence in a company’s management.BUT...they feel as if they have struck a blow for equity in the boardrooms...which is...er...important.