In 2022, the proportion of women in boards of 4 members or more of companies with 50 employees or more was 41.8% for public limited companies and 38.3% for private limited companies. In boards of 3 members, the proportion was 38.3% for public limited companies and 33.6% for private limited companies, whereas for private limited companies with 2 board members the proportion was 21.0%.
The proportion of women in boards of directors of companies increased up until 2014, but has reached a plateau since then. The proportion of women in boards of directors increases with both the size of the boards, and size of the companies (measured in number of employees), and is higher in public limited companies than in private limited companies.
Mixed gender proportion in boards of directors
Looking at companies of 50 employees or more, the share of companies with a mixed board of directors has been steadily increasing for over a decade. In 2010, the proportion of companies that had at least one board member of each gender (in boards with 2 or 3 members), or that had a proportion of women ranging between 40% and 60% (for boards with 4 members or more), ranged from 20% (private limited companies having boards with 2 members) to 45% (public limited companies having boards with 3 members).
In 2022, the same proportion ranged from 76.7% (private limited companies with boards of 3 members) to 92.5% (public limited companies with boards of 3 members), varying by legal form and size of the board of directors. An exception is private limited companies having boards with 2 members, where the proportion of companies having mixed boards of directors was only 42.0% and has been decreasing since 2018. This proportion went through a steady decrease between 2018 and 2021, when it reached its lowest since 2013, or 34.2%.
In 2010, a law was passed for companies of 50 employees or more which stated that when there are 3 board members, the board should contain both men and women, and for boards of 4 or more members, the proportion of women should be 40%-60%. This law dealt with both public and private limited companies, cooperative societies and unlimited partnerships. In the case of private limited companies, the law furthermore stated that boards of directors having 2 board members should also contain a man and a woman. This law came into effect in September 2013.
Managers and chairs of the board
The proportion of women as managers of enterprises in 2022 was 24.0%, continuing a slight but steady increase since 1999. Proportion of women as chairs of the board was 25.0% in 2022.
One individual with gender-neutral/other registration was registered as a manager in 2022. There were no individuals with gender-neutral/other registration registered as chairs or members of boards of directors of Icelandic companies in 2022.
Figures on the number of chairs and members of boards of directors and managing directors are published by gender and age, economic activity and company size, and figures on board members are also published legal form and number of board members. Since the last publication, more detailed data on business activity in 2021 has been added and previous figures updated accordingly.