Finance minister calls for more corporate equality

Sweden's finance minister has told corporations that they have to demand more equality in the board room as part of their self-regulation. Otherwise he will bring in a law to force them to have more women at the top of their companies.

This year the proportion of women in Sweden's top companies increased by just 0.4 percent. Minister Anders Borg, of the Moderate Party, says inequality is not being eliminated as fast as he would like.

Currently state-owned companies have a goal of at least 40 percent women in their governing boards. Borg says to newspaper Dagens Industri this could be a good aim for the corporations' own code of self-governance.

Currently the proportion of women in companies listed on the stock exchange is just 24 percent. For state-owned companies it is 49 percent.

Some other European companies already have a blanked demand of 40 percent, and the European Parliament wants this to be the EU-wide minimum.

The Swedish Corporate Governance Code (Bolagskoden) applies to all companies listed on the Stockholm exchange that are worth at least SEK 3 billion.