His offense? Back in 2003, as minister of trade and industry, he was responsible for shepherding through Norway’s law stipulating that publicly traded companies transform their boards beginning in 2006, and appoint 40 percent female members, or risk forced dissolution by delisting from the Oslo Stock Exchange.
“There are still lawyers walking around here,” he said, “who don’t say hello to me in the morning” because of what he did.
To most outsiders, Norway and Scandinavia in general are beacons of progress in women’s empowerment, in encouraging fathers as well as mothers to raise children and in general social welfare. The region regularly tops comparative international surveys on gender equality, parental leaves and benefits.
But a group of Norwegian women invited with Mr. Gabrielsen for breakfast and another cluster who came for lunch all had a surprisingly similar message: We may be pioneers, but there is still a long way to go.
Source: The New York Times
Published: April 6, 2013