Gender Boardroom Quotas, Norway's Experience

Western Australia continues to have an under representation of women in the Boardroom despite a range of initiatives to improve the situation. Are quotas the answer?

Filling the Pool recommended 'targets with teeth', yet the pace of change remains slow. With 40% of women on boards, Norway leads the way. At this event Prof. Morten Huse from BI Norwegian Business School, will launch the latest FACTBase research focusing on gender in the boardroom, at the only public event to be held during his visit to Australia.

Prof. Huse’s presentation will cover Norway’s journey from voluntary to regulated action followed by a panel of local business leaders who will reflect on the findings and what this means for Perth.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive a copy of the research.

Meet our speakers and panellists

Dr. Morten Huse Image
Dr. Morten Huse

Professor, BI Norwegian Business School, Department of Communication and Culture

Dr. Morten Huse is professor at BI Norwegian Business School, Department of Communication and Culture. He has had adjunct and visiting professorships at universities in several countries, including UTS (Sydney) and QUT (Brisbane). 2010-2012 he was president of the European Academy of Management, he has been president of the National Association of Directors in Norway (StyreAkademiet), and member of the advisory board of Catalyst in Europe. He has received the TIAW (The International Alliance of Women) Global Award for Championing the Economic Development of Women.

Morten Huse has published widely in both scientific and business oriented outlets. “Boards, Governance and Value Creation: The Human Side of Corporate Governance” (Cambridge U Press 2007) is the publication that has received the most attention. Other contributions include “Getting Women on to Corporate Boards: A Snowball started rolling in Norway” (E. Elgar 2013). In 2011 he got the best paper award at the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management for his paper about the “The Golden skirts: Changes in Board Composition following gender quotas on corporate boards”. His work about boards and women on boards are frequently cited in academia and in popular media as for example New York Times, the Guardian, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Repubblicca, El Pais, etc.

Professor Huse is internationally frequently used as keynote speakers at conferences and seminars, including presentations in the British, Italian and Slovenian parliaments, and he has been an important contributor in discussions about women’s career advancements and that of getting women on boards.

Diane Smith-Gander Image
Diane Smith-Gander

Non-Executive Director, AGL Energy, Wesfarmers Limited

Diane Smith-Gander is Non-Executive Director AGL Energy, Wesfarmers Limited, Chair of Safe Work Australia, Asbestos Safety & Eradication Council, a board member of Keystart Loans, CEDA, member of the NRFA Partnership Council and immediate past President of Chief Executive Women, Australia’s pre-eminent women’s advocacy group.

Diane has held a wide range of non-executive roles in the past including Chairman of Broadspectrum, Deputy Chairperson of NBNCo, non-executive director of the CBH Group, commissioner of Tourism WA and board member of the Committee for Perth.

Diane’s last executive role was Group Executive at Westpac; a member of the leadership team of the corporation, responsible for all Information Technology, back office operations, global vendor management and property. Diane was a General Manager at Westpac for 10 years in the 1990s responsible for back office functions, retail networks and support functions.

Prior to re-joining Westpac Diane was a partner at McKinsey & Company in Washington and New Jersey serving clients in diverse industries globally. Diane became a senior advisor to McKinsey in Australia in 2016.

Diane has been active in sports administration and is a past Chairman of both Basketball Australia Limited, the sport’s peak body, and the Australian Sports Drug Agency, the government agency responsible for deterring the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Diane holds an MBA from the University of Sydney and a BEc from the University of Western Australia (UWA). In 2015 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Economics from UWA. She is a Fellow of the AICD and Governance Institute of Australia and an adjunct professor of corporate governance at UWA where she serves on the advisory board of the Business School.

Diane is a keen down hill skier and operates a vineyard in Margaret River.

Gene Tilbrook Image
Gene Tilbrook

Deputy Chair, WA Division Director, Australian Institute of Company Directors

Gene Tilbrook is a professional company director and advisor on strategy, finance and governance.

He is a director of Woodside Petroleum; Orica (global explosives and mining services) ; GPT Group (a major A-REIT) ; and the Bell Shakespeare Company.

Gene is Deputy Chairman, and a WA Councillor, of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Chris Sutherland Image
Chris Sutherland

Managing Director, Programmed

Chris was appointed Managing Director of Programmed in January 2008 after its merger with Integrated Group in June 2007 where Chris had been the CEO since February 2006. Earlier in his career, he was an Executive Director of Asset Services for WorleyParsons as well as having a number of engineering / management roles at Clough Engineering. He is an experienced executive who has held senior management positions in various engineering, maintenance and contracting businesses with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the USA. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (UWA) and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2001. He was a member on the Board for 4 years (2012-2016) of the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board. Chris is also Chair of a Perth-based group CEOs for Gender Equity. In November 2017 Chris was awarded the Australian Human Resources Institute CEO Diversity Champion Award (AHRI).

Dr. Linley Lord Image
Dr. Linley Lord

Chair Academic Board, Director, Maureen Bickley Centre for Women in Leadership, Curtin Graduate School of Business, Co-Lead Athena SWAN Project

Linley Lord is a Professor, Chair of Academic Board and a member of University Council at Curtin University. She is Co-Lead of Curtin’s Athena SWAN Project and the Director of the Maureen Bickley Centre for Women in Leadership (MBC) at Curtin Business School. The MBC was established in March 2008 to promote and enable the increased representation of women in leadership roles.

Linley’s current research interests include women’s pathways to corporate boards, women in non-traditional areas of employment and women’s experience as leaders. She is a member of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (WA) Gender Diversity Reference Group and a sessional member of the State Administrative Tribunal since its inception in 2005. Prior to her academic career, Linley gained considerable experience as a change agent through appointments which included Project Officer for Equal Employment Opportunity focusing on Local Government (WA); first Equal Opportunity Coordinator for the West Australian Fire Brigades Board (now FESA) and as national Equal Opportunity Manager for the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.