Every year, Statistics Norway publishes statistics on people who sit on the board and management of Norwegian enterprises (seehttps://www.ssb.no/en/virksomheter-foretak-og-regnskap/eierskap-og-roller/statistikk/styre-og-leiing-i-aksjeselskap). This year, the topic has been particularly relevant, as it has been decided to introduce gender quotas also for non-listed limited companies of a certain size (measured by the number of employees and income). This report comes is financed by Innovation Norway (IN) and the Industrial development corporation Society of Norway (Siva) and provides a description of the gender distribution in the enterprises that receive public support from these schemes, compared to the enterprise population as a whole.

This report has a broader perspective on women's representation on the boards of Norwegian joint-stock companies than the official statistics. In addition to reporting gender proportions, we also examine diversity versus segregation in boards; i.e. whether the relatively few women and many men are lumped together in single-sex boards and whether the gender-mixed boards have different degrees of gender dominance, or whether an initially skewed selection of board members by gender composition is distributed evenly across the boards. The fact that the authorities have passed a law on a fairly high degree of gender representation on the boards of limited liability companies of a certain size means that the authorities prioritize that for larger companies, everyone must have a gender distribution within a certain interval (at least 40 per cent of each gender). In addition to looking at the gender ratios in various boards, we therefore also look at the degree of segregation in the world of boards. This has proven to provide valuable additional information which we will endeavour to incorporate into the ordinary, annual board statistics.

Among our most important findings can be mentioned that the larger the boards, the larger the proportion of women. This applies both to the enterprise population as a whole, and to the various instruments. For the groups of 7-9 board members and more than 10 members, the proportion of women in the entire company population is around 28-29 per cent, which is not that much lower than the legal requirement of 40 per cent that applies to the largest limited companies. What particularly pulls the aggregate proportion of women down are the one-person boards (14 per cent women). If large, resource-rich enterprises also tend to have larger boards, then introduction of quotas will have less consequences for changes in board compositions. We calculate that for the companies among IN's and Siva's customers (with over 30 employees and over 50 million in revenue), quotas will comprise 36 percent of the boards, which on average have between 5 and 6 members and where between 1 and 2 must be replaced to fulfil the legal requirement.

Furthermore, we find that for the enterprise population as a whole, the proportion of women on boards has increased somewhat between 2017 and 2021. This applies to all board sizes except the few with 10 or more members, where the proportion of women has fallen from around 32 to around 29 per cent. The proportion of women on boards has also increased for companies that receive support through the instrument apparatus.

Although men dominate in all board sizes, the proportion of mixed boards increases with board size. This applies both to the customers of the means and to the entire population and is as far as one would expect. This also results in a higher degree of gender diversity, measured by a lower degree of segregation. Both when it concerns the population as a whole and for the clients of the policy apparatus, we see a weak tendency for an increasing proportion of women over time to coincide with less segregation. This can be interpreted as the fact that new female board members who have joined boards over time have distributed themselves so that the gender distribution between the boards has become more equal.