Beyond Business: Education- one step towards gender-balanced business

Dorte is the CEO of CBS Executive (, which offers a range of executive education programs (in English and Danish) taught by internationally renowned professors from the Copenhagen Business School and US ‘Ivy League’ universities. With 20 years of experience, they are passionate about building the leaders of the future and training senior executives in Denmark.

Studies on diversity in organisations show that top management teams benefit greatly from gender diversity. Despite this, the status quo is still male-dominated C-suites and boardrooms.

Unfortunately, there are no simple explanations or solutions. The answers are hidden deep within the structures of our society and corporate culture.

Challenging the status quo
At CBS Executive, a trend has emerged combating the standard picture of male-dominated C-suites. We see a rise in women who are actively driving their careers – at all levels.

At our last board program, women represented 50 percent of the participants and our women-only ‘Leading Women’ programme was oversubscribed (for the third consecutive year). This shows an emerging group of women who will not accept the status quo.

Studies indicate that most women opt out when it is time to climb the career ladder, thereby placing the primary responsibility on women for their absence in top management. The experience with our female executive participants, however, challenges this assumption.

Looking at the ambitions of the many women in our classroom, thereby drawing on empirical data, it is clear that they have the courage to ask for guidance, when it is needed, to make an informed decision in relation to their career.

Not afraid
We provide this guidance at our women’s leadership program. We embrace this need and encourage open and unbiased dialogues on the career choices women face. We increase awareness of the barriers women experience in their career, and we talk openly about the professional competency requirements at different levels of management. We empower women with a firm belief in their own leadership skills and capabilities.

Bottom line: women are not afraid to take charge! That is certainly the positive development we see at CBS Executive.

So, I am happy – both as a CEO and a woman. I’m proud to be part of and take responsibility for our ambition to ensure more female talent at both Danish and global companies.