Gender Balance in Norwegian Boardrooms

In 2024, the Norwegian government is implementing stringent rules to address gender balance in Norwegian boardrooms, marking Norway as the first country to adopt such a comprehensive measure for gender equality in the boardrooms.

“If these companies have at least three board members, a maximum of between 67 and 50 percent of them should be of the same gender, depending on the number of members on the board. In practice, this becomes a 40 percent requirement.” (Norwegian government, 2023).


Previously Norway has introduced a quota system for boardrooms. However, the anticipated impact of gradual gender balance growth within boardrooms has been minimal. Over the last 20 years, there has been a modest increase from 15% to 20% of females in the boardrooms of (private limited companies). Given the limited long-term effects of previous quotas, a more extensive quota system is now being introduced over a four-year period.

The new rules explained:

To foster growth in Norwegian boardrooms and enhance gender equality, quota systems of various scopes for boardrooms have been introduced. Essentially, this means that over a four-year period, from 2024-2028, an estimated 20,000 companies will need to achieve a gender balance goal of a 60/40 ratio in their boards.

The process:

To meet these goals and requirements, a gradual plan has been established:

  • By 31.12.24: 60/40 balance for companies with more than 100 million NOK in Operating and Financial Income.
  • By 30.06.25: 60/40 balance for companies with 50 or more employees.
  • By 30.06.26: 60/40 balance for companies with 30 or more employees.
  • By 30.06.27: 60/40 balance for companies with more than 70 million NOK in Operating and Financial Income.
  • By 30.06.28: 60/40 balance for companies with more than 50 million NOK in Operating and Financial Income.

What will the boards look like:

The Norwegian government estimates that around 13,000 new candidates will be needed during the four-year transition period. To effectively implement new candidates and leverage the quota to an advantage, the recruitment process is critical. Currently, countless recruitments rely on personal networks, making it challenging to find the right candidate within a limited selection. Modern board recruitments should focus on using professional processes and methods to ensure proper diversity in gender, competencies and personality, among other factors.

“Don’t start by needing a woman; instead, analyze the needs and find the right woman.” – CEO of Aboard, Ida Melbye-Larsen

It’s important to note that candidates represent more than just gender. Diversity in competence, personality, culture, and experiences contributes to good dynamics in the boardroom. Today’s boardrooms need to open up not only to women but also to other aspects of diversity, irrespective of gender being underrepresented. 

About Aboard:

Every company deserves the best possible board to move forward. We know that the candidates that can contribute to increased value creation are to be found, but they may not be in your personal network. Our recruitments and our references has proven this so far. We strive to continue to amaze by providing motivated, qualified and diverse candidates efficiently and professionally.

Written by: Inger Helene Melbye-Larsen  | 08.02.24