Absolutely. In my own work—and I can only state this from my experience and from that of other women I have met, in telecommunications in the the voice and messaging and data industry—I have been in the 1%. Now there are more women in our industry, but I'm still at a senior level and I'm a minority.
There are challenges. Even when I was hiring, and this is a true story, my CEO said, “Can you find out if they're going to have children?” It's that glass-ceiling effect. You study it. You think it's theoretical, but it's actually there in practice. A lot of employers do worry that if they promote a woman, is she going to have a child and pay less attention to her work?
What it comes down to is that when it gets to a senior level in management, it's all about performance. It's all about profit. It's all about growth month over month, and it's about dedication. When it comes to the private sector, you do work 10 to 12 hours a day. If it's a demanding role, you're travelling and everything else, so it does affect your personal life, and you really do have to forego certain things if you do want to be that ambitious and go to an executive-level role. Those are simply some of the opportunity costs that exist.
I'm also against affirmative action, though. Norway introduced a mandatory quota for the proportion of women on boards, increasing it from 9% in 2003 to 40% five years later. This rapid increase was a national policy. Do I agree with it? Not specifically, because there's the question of performance. You need to have people who are right for certain jobs, for the sake of performance. You cannot simply place them in certain jobs because they fit a quota. That's why I go back to education. It's so important to not just throw money at it and say there are resources available, go after it. It starts early on, to be able to match people to jobs.