Are quotas the way to break the glass ceiling?

Progress for Women in Norway, but a Long Way to Go – NYTimes.com.

This is a link to a story about female quotas for corporate boards in Norway.  Quotas are a big topic of discussion in Europe, and in Dagens Nyheter today, there were new figures that showed the number of Swedish women on boards hasn’t moved much in the past year, though the fear of quotas is still driving the numbers up over the long haul.

I wrote about this topic for Quartz a few months ago.  This is from near the end:

What seems to set Sweden apart—both in its achievements and in the frustrations over a lack of progress—is the fierce commitment from broad swathes of the population towards equality.

So even when the country is breaking thousands of years of tradition in getting men to take a quarter of parental leave, it feels stuck because it’s not changing fast enough. Haas brings up a Swedish phrase translated as “in principle and in practice” that is often mentioned in situations like this.

But it is this very commitment that has brought women so far in the Swedish public sector, and that drives women like Blomquist to fight for equality. She doesn’t want to wait 52 years for corporate gender balance. She sees the issue as key to small Sweden competing in a globalized 21st century.

The bliss of no TV commercials for my children

This story is a year old but I’m going through my backlog of saved links, and it’s a nice look at the screen problem and the commercialization problem and the violence problem with kids media.

Electric Youth: Why Susan Linn and the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood Terrify Child Advertisers – Boston Magazine – bostonmagazine.com.

I love that Sweden does not allow commercials aimed at children.  We only watch the public kids channel anyway – and shows streamed from the US without commercials – but I only appreciated the quiet we live in when we visited Turkey earlier this year and the kids saw all these commercials for toys, and they were both fascinated then bored and kind of horrified.

“Oh, no!  Not commercials again!”

They’re still plenty affected by consumerism, but it comes through friends and merchandising, which seems less harmful to me.  So my son loves Star Wars because that’s what his friends play.  So my daughter wants to watch Winx Club (she doesn’t get to) because that’s what her friends play at school.  I can deal with that. It’s better than getting the messages mainlined from the amoral heart of the advertising industry and the timeless world of international toy conglomerates. Instead, they get the characters and stories filtered through play, transformed into a mythic shape, and I don’t care what the mask of the heroine looks like at that point.