In short, the 40:40:20 ratio is about aiming for diversity of gender in workplace leadership, be it senior leadership teams or on the Board. It refers to 40% men, 40% women, 20% of any gender.
As the SKYCITY Chair and Champion for Change Rob Campbell says it, ‘The reason for wanting gender diversity in senior management and boards is not that there is some universal skill set which women hold to the exclusion of men. Rather it is that women exhibit an equivalent diversity of skill sets to men and that there is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by not accessing those skills in total rather than in half.’
As a group, the Champions for Change are committed to driving a 40:40:20 balance at all levels of employment i.e. at each level of seniority, 40% of both women and men, with the remaining 20% being of any gender, allowing for a natural flow of people into and out of the organisation. For example, this could mean six men and four women in management – or five of each.
In 2003 Norway introduced a law on 40:40:20 for company boards.