Gender quota spill-over in Sweden : from politics to business?
Title: Gender quota spill-over in Sweden : from politics to business?
Author: FREIDENVALL, Lenita
Series/Number: EUI LAW; 2015/28
Ever since the 1990s, legislated gender quotas have been adopted across the world as a means to increase the number of women in elected bodies. In recent years, legislated gender quotas have also been adopted to rectify the under-representation of women on company boards. Sweden diverges from this trend. Despite the fact that Sweden has been recognized as a model of gender equality, being ranked among the most gender equal countries in the world and having achieved gender balanced political assemblies, legal gender quotas have not been enacted, neither in the political sphere nor in the economic sphere. This paper analyses women’s path to power in Sweden. It studies the adoption of special measures and provides an assessment of the factors that facilitate or hinder increases in the proportion of women decision-makers in the political and economic sectors. By applying feminist institutional theory, the dynamics of institutional configurations facilitating or hindering change is investigated. It is argued that the interplay of institutions in the political sector operated in a mutually reinforcing way, thereby constituting a good fit, while the interaction of institutions in the economic sector functioned in a conflicting way. It is also claimed that women’s movement organisations (working both within and outside of the political parties) represented critical actors in implementing party quotas in Sweden. Such coordinated efforts did not exist in the corporate sector. There, the forces of resistance were much stronger than the forces for change, thereby hindering the introduction of a legal corporate gender quota.
Subject: Political representation; Corporate board representation; Gender; Party quotas; Corporate governance code
Type of Access: openAccess