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Are mandatory gender quotas required?

Media release

According to a recent poll by Harrier Human Capital, 75% of respondents think quotas are a positive way to ensure equal or appropriate representation for women in key strategic positions.

Whilst many companies and countries around the world have women in leadership roles – and may agree that a greater gender balance is ideal – there appears little agreement on how to achieve it.

Countries like Norway, India and Denmark have all introduced mandatory quotas with positive results, and despite initial reluctance by many to support the move. In India, 33 per cent of the seats in local elected village bodies are reserved for women – and have been since the mid 1990’s – resulting in an improvement in the education offered to women and a focus on important nutritional resources like water. In Denmark, voluntary gender quotas introduced in the 1970’s were removed by the 1990’s as gender balanced candidate pools became the norm.

Together with the need for effective government and organisational infrastructure and policies to support women returning and remaining in the workforce, are mandatory quotas a necessary initial requirement to achieve long term gender diversity?

Building on this years’ International Women’s Day theme of Inspiring Change, Harrier CEO Kelly Quirk will partner with Rabia Siddique, a criminal and human rights lawyer awarded a Queen’s commendation for human rights work, to discuss gender diversity across the global and Australian landscapes at the Australasian Talent Conference in Sydney in May. The presentation will focus on the need for change and the need for positive, progressive strategies to engage, recruit and retain women in leadership and business.