Gender quotas define a proportion or number of positions to be filled by, or allocated to, women and to men. Norway was the first to introduce this concept by requiring listed companies to have at least 40% female board members by 2008. The past decades have seen a diffusion of gender quotas across various domains in many countries.

Moving forward, quotas ensure that the right people get in and stay in decision-making roles. If you look at the world today, there are a lot of opportunities to make sure that your culture is diverse, but there is still work to be done. 

Gender Equality

Quota systems are more than just a solution to inequality; they also have positive economic, social, and political impacts on the countries that implement them. Implementing a quota system is not a panacea, but it is a policy decision that can dramatically change the lives of women, families, and entire societies. By using quotas we can continue to see progress and make sure women have an easier time getting in if they need it.

Let’s examine a few points on how quotas help women gain access to decision-making positions.

Quotas Increase the Share of Women on Corporate Boards

Studies have clearly shown that gender quotas increase the share of women on corporate boards. Researchers have compared countries with and without board gender quotas. They find that countries with quotas have a higher share of women on their boards than countries without quotas. For instance, the German government introduced gender quotas for corporate boards in 2016 to increase the proportion of female board members.

Quota Helps Increase the Share of Women among CEOs and Senior Managers

Women are more likely to be promoted to senior management positions in companies with gender-balanced boards than in those with male-dominated boards. Several factors contribute to this. First, it could be due to female directors’ commitment to achieving gender equality on the boards of the companies to which they are appointed. Furthermore, increased contact with female directors may reduce intergroup prejudice among male directors and lessen their doubts about women’s leadership abilities. 

Gender Diversity on Corporate Boards, a report published by Allen & Overy, indicates that companies with women CEOs tend to have more gender-balanced boards on average than those led by men.

Quotas with Sanctions are More Effective

According to research, quotas with sanctions increase the representation of women on boards more effectively than quotas without sanctions. Moreover, tougher sanctions make quotas more effective than mild or moderate sanctions. Statistically speaking, the findings of this study confirm that countries with quotas have more women on boards than countries with only corporate governance codes or no regulations, as described in the Research Paper published by SSN (Clark, Arora & Gabaldon 2021).


Quota can be an effective measure for promoting gender equality in decision-making roles. Quotas have been implemented and have achieved success in many developing countries over the years.

The quota system is not a panacea. It will not solve all of society’s ills. However, it is a useful tool that we can utilize to improve the status of women in the workplace. Indeed, many countries and corporations are already starting to see the benefits of gender diversity, and they are implementing their own quota systems accordingly.

To learn more about industry and company levels of female representation on the Board, Management Team, and executive positions, get in touch with MERTIT500 today.

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