Last Updated Dec 3, 2009 11:22 AM EST
First came Norway, which in 2003 mandated that 40 percent of board positions on large companies be held by women. Now it's France's turn.
Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party has offered legislation requiring women to comprise half of leading boardrooms, both state-owned and private, by 2015. The legislation will be debated in January.
These aren't toothless directives. In Norway, business owners are threatened with being shut down if they don't comply. No wonder, then, that Norway, which had a mere 6% female board representation in 2001, now has more women on boards, 44.2%, than any other country. According to Guardian.co., here is the geographic breakdown:
- Norway, 44.2%
- Sweden, 22%
- Finland, 17%
- U.S. 15.2%
- UK, 12%
- France, 10.5%
Whether it be in Washington or Paris, what's your opinion on how far government should intrude into the workings of private business to correct what it sees as social wrongs?