Brickbat: Hard Numbers


Dmitriy Shironosov /

Swedish lawmakers are considering a bill that would require corporations to have at least 40 percent women on their boards of directors. Companies failing to meet the quotas would face fines of up to $590,000.

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  1. Don’t some countries already have such requirements? Norway and/or Finland come to mind, but I am only up right now for otehr temporary reasons, and don’t feel like engaging in some google fisticuffs to research it, or even RTFA.

    1. “I am only up right now for otehr temporary reasons,”

      This is the best euphemism we’ll see all day, hands down!

      1. Hands down…

        It’s euphemisms all the way…down.


      2. Well I’ll be!

  2. The EU has a ‘target’ of 40 percent women on boards by 2020, but the article doesn’t make clear if there are any penalties defined for failing to make that goal right now.

    Just doing some quick googling on the size of boards – looks like many companies view 7 as an ideal number, meaning you need at least 3 women to hit 40%. If you assume all qualifications are equal between men and women (and thus sex is basically a random attribute of board members) you’d expect about a quarter of all companies to be in violation of this rule with no discrimination at all.

  3. Sweden yes!

    1. only one problem, how to tell the boys from the girls…no one in Sweden has any balls!

  4. He said that giving women more power at the corporate apex was also a sound business strategy.

    Thus the law requiring it.

    1. Maybe the real goal is to protect more women from the rapists. Ever hear of a Board member getting raped?

      1. raped by the SEC ?

  5. Dear Sweden,

    Perhaps you should do something about all the rapes first.



    P.S. Let me know if you ever actually pass this law. That way I’ll know to never come visit.

  6. $590,000 fine is certainly less than the settlement from the sexual harassment lawsuits that can be avoided by not having disruptive women on the Board.

    So, cost of doing business.

    1. Go big. Take the fine, hire no women, save on maternity leave. I’ll be expecting a Swedish executive position any minute now.

    2. so cost benefit…let’s say 600k in fines versus the bottom line damage done to the bottom line by 40% xx membership on the board….pay the fine!

    3. 590K is a small price to enjoy a no-chicks club.

  7. Question, what if the women don’t want to be on the board of directors, will they be forced to be on it?

    Also there is a simple fix for this, just have 40% of your male directors declare that they are pre-op transsexuals. These days they don’t even have to wear a dress, they can just say that inside they have always felt like they were a women

    1. Bonus points if it’s the least feminine 40%.

      1. I’d grow a beard if I was the designated lady.

  8. The whole equality thing just doesn’t make sense. If it’s merely discrimination to not have women, if there’s no reason to not have women because women are objectively every bit as capable as men, then what difference does it make if half the board are women? Do you have to have a certain percentage of left-handed people, short people, bald people, people who like deep-dish pizza, Jets fans, people who like to ski? If it makes no difference if it’s a man or a woman then what difference does it make if it’s a man or a woman? If you’re claiming it makes a difference if it’s a man or a woman, you’re admitting there are differences between men and women – and now let’s have this conversation: What are the differences between men and women and what difference does it make if a certain percentage of your board members are women?

    1. Sir, you are trying to view it in light of the cover story.

      The stated objective of “equality” is bunk. It is a furtherance of a supremacist ideology for whom no tactic is forbidden, and the truth irrelevent. Making the people they claim to be for miserable – irrelevent. Causing decades of economic and social harm – irrelevent. Hurting the ‘enemy’ and getting special carve-outs for themselves – everything.

    2. yes to all of the above…except for those Jets fans, obviously way to stupid to be on a board.

      1. Do you know the way to stupid ?

        1. take a left off 95 from NJ into Manhattan…or you could go right off 95 from CT to…

        2. I thought it was on the way too San Jose!

          1. Left turn in Albuquerque…

    3. Speaking as a lefty, you don’t know discrimination until you live in our shoes.

      1. do you think I look like Mother Hubbard (and that I like the smell of feet)?

  9. Last year Sweden came first in a YouGov ranking of attitudes towards gender equality among 24 nations, with 72 percent of Swedes surveyed responding positively to questions regarding gender balance.

    Ask them again when the wife isn’t home.

  10. Hillary stumbles, goes to Chelsea’s apt for a fix. A week later bomb goes off in Chelsea!


    No way! Hildog’s bombing NYC!


    If true, she’d get my vote.

    1. cause she bombed her daughter?

  11. Equal opportunity rubber stamps!

  12. Maternity leave in Sweden is 480 days. I wouldn’t be surprised if their corporations had fewer female boards of directors on average than most Western countries. But if they just get ENOUGH contradictory laws I’m sure they’ll reach that impossible goal of making women 100% family focused and 100% ambitious high-powered feminists with 90-hour-a week jobs, simultaneously.

    1. I have a solution.

      Sock. Puppets.

      Or Muppets.

      1. won’t work, no way to tell from existing population…

  13. Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken.

    1. this was a reply to lap83

  14. Manager Mats: ‘Meet Ingrid. She’s my Wednesday night appointment and now she’s a member of this board.”

  15. Father: Honey, we must talk.
    Daughter (stroking doll’s hair sitting on bed): Yes, father.
    Father: It is time for you to consider your future.
    Daughter: What’s a future?
    Father: We have a duty.
    Daughter: What’s a duty?
    Father: Would you like to sit a big long, mahogany table with big chairs and water glasses and doughnuts and with funny people who pretend it’s Halloween everyday?
    Daughter: That sounds like fun!
    Father (dials mobile): She’s in.

  16. Conquest’s Third Law: The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

    So the simplest way to explain this mandate is to assume that a cabal of misogynists in the Swedish government and the EU are out to discredit women and block them from obtaining any actual positions of power. Because the dead obvious result will be to appoint women to “dummy” or “puppet” board positions under the control of men who will wield even more power than before. In addition, all the women on various corporate boards will be dismissed as “Stepford Board Members” whether they deserve it or not.

    1. +1 soft bigotry of low expectations

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