Women representation on corporate boards remains a problem in many countries around the world. Yet the introduction of quotas to address this issue has caused debates among current and future leaders.
Norway was the first country to introduce binding quotas for women on corporate boards back in 2003, and the initiative has been successful. But the recent passage of a law to enforce the women’s quota in Germany, after earlier efforts didn’t seem to lead to the intended consequences, has reignited debate about the pros and cons of quotas for women in the U.S. and Europe alike. “When women are not represented at the leadership table, then it’s hard for women to be represented as consumers of your brands,” says Robin Vogel, 56, vice president of global strategic sourcing at the American candy company Mars, Inc. Having majored in engineering at college, Vogel knows first-hand how underrepresented women are in certain fields. But throughout her career, she just pushed on. “Walking into a meeting room where the majority of the attendees are men may have impacts on a number of women,” she admits. “Frankly, I got used to it.”