The lack of female senior executives in private business is a well-known debate in Norway. Statistics show that only 7 per cent of senior executives at upper level in Norwegian companies are women. At second management level, women count for 20 per cent. Only 6 percent of top executives in listed companies are women.
Flensby & Partners is proud to have been chosen as a partner in the program named Fifty Fifty. The goal of the program is to promote a better gender balance in business and gather female leaders and talents from some of Norway's largest companies. The Nordic insurance company Storebrand is the initiator and owner of the program. Administrative Research Fund of Norway (AFF) is responsible for the academic contents of the program, while Flensby & Partners assesses leadership potential among the participants. Our methodology and insight have been decisive factors for inviting Flensby & Partners to join.
"We decided early in the project planning that assessments would be an important part, both for the talents’ motivation for the program and for defining what topics would be the most important ones to address. Having worked with Flensby & Partners on recruitment processes in the past made us confident that they would deliver on our expectations on this tasks, and work closely with the project to achieve the best results and deliverables. We are really looking forward to the close cooperation during the months to come”, says Tove Selnes, Group HR Director at Storebrand.
The program consists of four sessions during 2017. Eleven of Norway's largest businesses have nominated ten female participants representing various management levels within their respective company. During the sessions, the participants will work out specific measures to promote a better gender balance in business. Participating leadership talents are assessed for their leadership potential and given guidance in relation to further career development. Fifty Fifty will summarize its findings and hand over the report to Norway's Prime Minister and Minister for Gender Equality.
"One of the reasons for the lack of gender balance in senior management positions is that there are too few women with substantial top management experience. The Norwegian Board quota act has by default resulted in 40% of women in ASA boards (public limited company). However, the spill over effect on the companies' top management remains to be seen. I believe starting at the other end of the corporate hierarchy, and focusing on how to develop leadership talents is the right way to go to achieve a better senior executive gender balance, "says Marit B. Kamark, Partner at Flensby & Partners, and responsible for assessing the talents nominated to participate in the program.
One of the programs objective is to raise awareness on how to build a career.
“Traits of a successful top executives are different from those attributed to middle or lower level managers. Leadership skills do not automatically occur when promoted to senior management positions. In addition to personal qualifications, executives who succeed in top management positions will typically have gained insight over time, they have broadened their operational experience, handled financial risks, organizational restructuring, etc. Our tools and experience will provide Fifty Fifty participants with individual guidance on what it takes to reach the top of the business hierarchy”.
So far, Flensby & Partners has assessed around 30 female leadership talents, and has gained a unique insight into the management profiles that will characterize large parts of the future business environment. Further assessments will be made during the autumn of 2017.
For further information on the Fifty Fifty program, please contact:
Partner Marit B. Kamark, Flensby & Partners
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