Greenland busy implementing much-debated gender quota

KNI and Royal Arctic Line are among the state-owned companies to experience massive board changes

Female students are predominant on five out of the six Copenhagen University faculties (photo: iStock)
May 30th, 2014 4:01 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Greenland’s government has enforced scores of changes in the boardrooms of the country's publicly-owned companies to ensure that 50 percent of the positions are occupied by women.

The enforcement, in adherence with the gender quota legislation that came into effect at the turn of the year, has been the subject of much debate and critique despite its overwhelming political support.

“There have been so many dramatic leadership changes that it has created a great deal of unease and concern,” Michael Böss, a lecturer at Aarhus University specialising in Greenlandic affairs, told Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper.

According to Böss, the criticism hinges on the new board members, both women and men, who lack the experience necessary to assume the important positions. Another argument is that Greenland should focus on its socio-economical issues rather than its gender policies.

READ MORE: Danish parliament gives Greenlanders the right to know the identity of their fathers

Dangerous cocktail
Among the larger state-owned companies to experience radical boardroom upheaval are the trading conglomerate KNI, which changed almost half of its board, and Royal Arctic Line, where everyone bar one member was replaced.

“These are large companies that are essential to Greenland’s economy,” Lise Lyck, a lecturer at Copenhagen Business School, said. “And when you mess around with these boards, you mess with the entire foundation of Greenland’s economy, which is dangerous – particularly now.”

The gender quota law was proposed last year by Siumut, the party of Greenland’s prime minister Aleqa Hammond, to “ensure that everyone, whatever gender, is given the opportunity to take part in business life”.

CPH Pride will light up the streets of Copenhagen in mid-August (Photo: istock)
Mid-August events: Proud, loud, no clouds allowed
CPH Pride Aug 11-15, Parade: Aug 15, 13:00; Smallegade, Frederiksberg City...
(photo: Henrik Stenberg)
August Performance: Pirouetting at the police station
Summer Dance Aug 11-17, 20:30, Aug 16-17, 14:30; Politigården, Cph V; f...
Until relatively recently, the Faroese needed to catch a boat every time they wanted to travel to one of the 18 islands (photo: Vincent van Zeijst)
Parliament election on Faroe Islands announced
Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, the prime minister of the Faroe Islands, has annou...
The port of Calais is not this peaceful or visible today (photo: Luctor)
French sailors striking against DFDS purchase in Calais again
Hundreds of French sailors blocked access to the city of Calais, France thi...
The accused has appealed, denying all charges (photo: iStock)
Dane found guilty of raping his teenage stepdaughter
A 51-year-old man from Maribo on Lolland was today found guilty of repeated...
Protests against uranium mining in Greenland came to Copenhagen today (Photo: Alberto Otero Garcia)
Anti-uranium rally in Copenhagen
About 80 protestors joined Chemnitz Larsen (IA), Greenland’s representati...