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European directors network appoints first ever female chair

05 Nov 2015

Norwegian Turid Elisabeth Solvang named chair of the European Confederation of Directors Associations representing 55,000 business leaders

The European Confederation of Directors Associations (ecoDa), which represents 55,000 business leaders across Europe, has elected Turid Elisabeth Solvang of Norway as its new chair – the first ever women to occupy the role.

Lady Barbara Judge CBE, the first female chairman of the UK Institute of Directors, congratulated Ms Solvang on her appointment:

“I am extremely pleased to see ecoDa lead by example on the vital issue of increasing boardroom diversity by electing its first female chair. With each extra appointment, Europe comes closer to smashing the glass ceiling we have done so much to crack in recent years.

“Businesses that harness the potential of the millions of women with the skills, experience and ambition to excel at the top table will reap the benefits. Diverse boardrooms breed energetic executives and inspired workforces which can drive corporate performance. I look forward to working with Ms Solvang to champion the cause of women and diversity and uphold the highest standards of corporate governance in European companies.”

Turid Elisabeth Solvang (53) is co-founder and Managing Director of the Norwegian Institute of Directors. She has extensive organisational experience with a professional background in communications and has proven her ability to connect and motivate people across a number of roles. She has extensive experience as a non-executive director, serving on the boards of yA Holding and Siviløkonomene, as co-owner of Infovidi AS, and as Vice Co-chair of European Women on Boards.

As board directors face increased scrutiny across the continent, Ms Solvang said her main priority will be to understand and communicate how boards add value to businesses and drive European competitiveness:

“In Europe, there is currently an implicit mistrust of corporate boards. It is our responsibility to share knowledge and a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of board directors.”

Lars-Erik Forsgårdh, the outgoing chairman of ecoDa and a go-to authority on essential topics of European corporate governance, also hailed the appointment:

“With the election of Turid Elisabeth Solvang, ecoDa leads by example by promoting women for non-executive positions. This election is a signal to the European business community; to continue promoting women for European decision-making bodies. I wish Turid Elisabeth Solvang the best of success as ecoDa chair.”

The ecoDa board expressed its appreciation for Mr Forsgårdh’s leadership and thanked him for his success in raising the profile of ecoDa in recent years.

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