Articles in peer-reviewed journals
Women’s equality in the Scandinavian academy – a distant dream?
Together with Geraldine Healy i have written an article that are now been accepted for publication in the journal Work Employment and Society The article investigates women’s equality in universities in the three Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, countries where women’s share of professorships is below the EU average. It explores the perception of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian women academics with respect to sex equality, hiring and discrimination.
Seierstad, C., Healy, G. (2012) Women’s equality in the Scandinavian academy – a distant dream?. Work Employment and SocietyFor the few not the many? The effects of affirmative action on presence, prominence, and social capital of female directors in Norway
Governments have implemented various affirmative action policies to address vertical sex segregation in organisations. A gender representation law was introduced in Norway, which required public limited companies’ boards to have at least 40% representation of each sex by 2008. This law acted as an external shock, and this paper aims to explore its effects. In particular, it explores the gender bias, the emergence and sex of prominent directors, and directors’ social capital. We utilize data from May 2002 to August 2009 to analyze these aspects. The implied intention of the law was to create a larger pool of women acting as directors on boards, and the law has had the effect of increasing the representation of women on boards. However, it has created a small elite of women directors, which rank among the top on a number of proxies of influence.
Seierstad, C., Opsahl, T. (2011). For the few not the many? The effects of affirmative action on presence, prominence, and social capital of female directors in Norway. Scandinavian Journal of Management 27(1), 44-54. Preprint and updated data available through the paper's supporting website: www.boardsandgender.com
Seierstad, C. (2011). Strategies for equality - The Norwegian experience of the use of gender quotas in the private sector. In Wright, T. & Conley, H. (eds) Gower Handbook of discrimination at work. Aldershot: Gower
Seierstad, C. (2010). The most equal of the regions – the Scandinavian gendered paradox. In Healy, G., Noon, M. & Kirton, G. (eds) Equality, inequality and diversity – Contemporary challenges and strategies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd
Seierstad, C. (2011). Exploring the Norwegian paradox of vertical sex segregation: Strategies and experiences in politics, academia and company boards. London: University of London (link).
EURAM 2011: Gender Quotas On Corporate Boards -Lessons from NorwayI presented a paper at EURAM (European Academy of Management),Tallin, Estonia in the track 'Gender equality and diversity in management, General Track. Vertical sex segregation, especially in the private sector with few women in managerial positions is a persistent trend globally. The absence of women in the decision-making processes, especially on corporate boards has become a key concern for states and policymakers as well as researchers over the last years ( Huse, 2007, Huse, 2009, Vinnicombe et al., 2008). Governments have implemented a variety of policies in order to eradicate the persistent trend of women’s under representation in positions of power and influence. Recently, a gender representation law was introduced in Norway which requires public limited companies’ boards to have at least 40 per cent representation of each sex by 2008. This law acted as an external shock, and this paper explore some of its effects. In particular, it explores the developments until 2011 in terms of gender bias on boards, the emergence and gender of prominent directors, as well as experiences from women directors. Company data from 2002-2011 is used to analyse the changes within the boards. In addition, this paper have a qualitative investigation into the experiences from 22 women who are, after the introduction of the law, directors of one or more board of directors. PEDEC 2011:Promoting Equality and Diverstity Through Economic Crisis
Panel speaker at the event Advancing Fair Representation in Public and Private Institutions in the Economic Downturn, PEDEC Queen Mary University 2011.IIRA European Congress 2010: Gender and legal developments in Scandinavia - the case of gender quotas on company boards in Norway
I was invited to give a talk in the Gender and IR study group at the the 9th IIRA European Congress in Copenhagen 28 June-1 July 2010.
The presentation discussed how vertical sex segregation in organisations is a global phenomenon. Governments have implemented various affirmative action policies in order to eliminate this. Recently, a gender representation law was introduced in Norway which requires public limited companies’ boards to have at least 40% representation of each sex by 2008. This law acted as an external shock, and this presentation explore some of its effects. In particular, it explores the gender bias on boards, the emergence and gender of prominent directors, as well as experiences from female directors. Company data from 2002-2009 is used to analyse the changes within the boards and in addition, this paper have a qualitative investigation into the experiences from 22 women who are, after the introduction of the law, members of one or more board of directors. Although the law has increased the representation of women on boards, the law has also had unintended effects. In particular, an elite of directors has emerged and differences on proxies of influence have increased.
Gender, Work and Organisations 2010: Gendered structures and gendering practices in Norway; The case of politics, academia and corporate boards.
Gendered organizational practices has been recognized as important factors for occupational sex segregation globally and organizational barriers for women’s career advancement have been important for organizational research over the last decades (e.g., Acker, 1990, 2006a, 2006b; Collinson, Knight & Collinson, 1990; Kanter, 1977). In Scandinavia, as elsewhere (see Acker 1994, Healy and Seierstad unpublished, Seierstad unpublished) we find that organizations are not gender neutral; instead they provide a set of institutional conditions that encourage forms of vertical segregation. Procedures for hiring, organizational structure, and discrimination inside organizations are important aspects for inequality and occupational sex segregation. As illustrated by Acker (2006) even organizations with egalitarian goals might develop inequality regimes over time. The use of affirmative action has been set up as a potential way to challenge inequality, yet, as illustrated by Acker (2006) these strategies often fail.
Several governments have implemented various policies to reduce (with the aim of ultimately eradicate) the preferential selection of men over women for influential positions. Norway has a variety of strategies for gender equality, and different forms of affirmative action has since the 1970s regulated recruitment in areas such as politics, education, and boards in the public sector (Teigen 2000), yet the percentage of women in senior positions in areas such as academia and in the private sector is still low and vertical sex segregation seems surprisingly persistent.
This paper seek to explore the gendering practices within three Norwegian occupational groups; politics, academia and corporate boards. The three occupational groups have differences in relation to gender representation, nature of occupation, as well as affirmative action strategies. While in politics, gender quotas of a voluntarily nature has been an important strategy for most political parties for almost thirty years, a compulsory gender representation law with a requirement of a minimum of 40 per cent of each sex was implemented on the board of directors for public limited companies in 2006 with a two year implementation period. In academia, soft strategies are in use, but the use of quotas of a voluntarily or compulsory nature do not exist. Consequently, the share of women in the three occupational groups varies considerably. The share of women on boards has increased from approximately 8 per cent in 2003 to 41 per cent in 2009, the share of women in politics is approximately 38 per cent in parliament and 44 per cent in government (June 2009), while in academia, the share of professors are only approximately 16 per cent (2007).
It might be tempting to see a unilinear relationship between the degrees of affirmative action and women’s roles in organizations. However, the findings will demonstrate that while affirmative action strategies are important, they operate alongside three different but still gendered organizational contexts. The paper explores how these differences affect and influence women’s experiences of gendered practices within the respective occupational groups. The aim of this paper is to, by building on Acker’s (2006) components of inequality regimes as well as Collinson et al (1990) theory of the vicious circles of job segregation explore how the nature of the organization, the share of women in senior positions, and the use of affirmative action strategies will affect women’s experiences in three important, yet significantly different occupational settings. This paper will a) use range of macro and meso data, national and international to illustrate the Norwegian labour market and the three occupational groups, and b) it will draw on 66 qualitative interviews, with female politicians, academics and directors in order to explore the experiences of Norwegian women in senior positions in relation to equality and gendered organizational practices within the respective groups.
Panel speaker at the event Balance in the boardroom: How to get more women leaders in the City? Wednsday 22 of September 2010
I was a panel discussiant at the event "Balance in the boardroom: How to get more women leaders in the City?”. Young Fabians ‘Future of Finance’ and Women’s Network hosted the debate at the London Stock Exchange. It was an interesting debate where Rachel Reeves MP, former Bank of England Economist and member of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, chaired the debate. Clare Dobie, Immediate Past President of the Women’s City Network and witness for the Treasury Committee’s ‘Women in the City’ inquiry; Trupti Patel, Associate at Social Finance; and Andrew Roscoe, London Director of Egon Zehnder International; and Cathrine Seierstad, Researcher at the Center for Research in Equality and Diversity in Queen Mary University, where taking part in the panel debate.
The Equal Opportunity International Conference, Istanbul, Turkey 2009 A change in representation on Norwegian boards of directors: compliance, prominence, and women’s experience.
Proceedings of the International Labour Process Conference 2007, Amsterdam, Netherlands Seierstad, C. and Healy, G.2007. Gender segregation in Scandinavian countries – The case of academia.
Proceedings of the European Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting, European Academy of Management, Oslo, Norway 2006. Occupational segregation and the patterns of work..