Men 19, Women 1

12.10.2021 - 15:59
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Kristján Ingvarsson - RÚV
The current score is 19-1 in favour of men when it comes to who leads the companies registered on the main index of the Icelandic stock exchange. Women in the workplace flew flags at half-mast yesterday to draw attention to this imbalance.

The flag ‘ceremony’ took place at two locations on Borgartún in Reykjavík’s white-collar business district.

“Equality is a decision. But decisions are just opinion if we don’t do anything, if we don’t produce anything. It is really important that Iceland is pushing equality all the time because we are just a side street in the global village and this will become a question of competitiveness very quickly. We need all hands on deck,” says Sigríður Hrund Pétursdóttir, the chair of the women in the workplace organisation. 

“The numbers are bad and we are not doing as well as we should. Behind me are flags that show there are 19 directors who are male in the stock exchange and only one woman,” said Katrín Kristjana Hjartardóttir, who is a member of the organisation's board. 

There were also two more flags fluttering in the breeze of a gentle autumn day yesterday. They symbolised that 77 percent of board members of Icelandic companies are men, compared to 23 percent women. 

“Which is interesting, because here there is a law that says the proportion has to be 40/60 and in the ten years since the law was set, we’ve gone up by two percent. So I ask: are we the world champions in equality, or maybe just the world champions in deceit? It is not that there aren’t enough suitable women. They just need to be given the chance and they need to be hired in,” Katrín says. 

“We can do much better. So, now we will roll up our sleeves together and be the best in the world, for real, in the premier league of equality issues, for all our benefit and good fortune,” Sigríður adds. 

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Alexander Elliott
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