Politician vs Industrialist

In a short article in Dagens Nyheter today Norwegian conservative minister Ansgar Gabrielsen comes out as insightful and foresightful: Twenty years ago was raised the issue of the lack of women on company boards. The industry promised that things would sort themselves out within ten years. Nothing happened. So, the minister, in spite of being conservative and thus presumably all for letting companies self-regulate as much as possible, took the consequences of that and successfully forced through quota legislation, to the benefit of everyone.

In opposition to that we have in an article on the next page Håkan Eriksson, spokesman for the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise who blithely says that things will sort themselves out within 15–20 years. Apparently what he has learned from the Norwegian example is to give a date far enough into the future that he will have retired if and when any Swedish minister decides to follow up the promises. (Not that that is likely to happen.)

I'd be happy to hear if anyone knows of a case where industry has promised to self-regulate and this actually has happened. Ever.

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