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IPE special report May 2018

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Swedish buffer fund praises increased diversity on Swedish boards

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AP2 has praised the increase in board diversity at Swedish companies after a nearly 20% rise in the number of women at listed firms.

Eva Halvarsson, chief executive of AP2, said the changes to its annual Female Representation Index were the steepest increases since 2004, and noted that nomination committees were now being ever more responsible in selecting candidates.

“There is still much to do, but I am convinced that this issue has now attracted the attention necessary for accelerating future development in this area and to ensure better utilization of the competence available.”

The index, compiled since 2003 with Nordic Investor Services, found that 29% of board directors at firms listed primarily on the Swedish Stock Exchange were women.

However, the Swedish buffer fund struck a note of caution that the rate of improvement seen in recent years would bring about parity on boards any time soon.

It estimated that parity between male and female candidates would take a further 27 years for board members, and 44 years for members of executive management.

The financial and consumer sector boasted the highest number of women on boards, while media and financial services reported the largest number of executive management.

The survey covered 268 companies listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

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