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Dude diligence: Including gender review in our due diligence

Trine og Ingrid 6

Inspired by our close colleagues from Vinge in Sweden, we want to add value to our clients and the society by including a review of the gender balance in the board and key roles of companies in our due diligence review.

Research shows that companies with gender balance in their governing bodies are more profitable than other companies. Yet, the fact is that Norwegian companies are far from seeing gender balance in the boards, management groups and other key roles.

At Thommessen we are committed to promoting a well-functioning business sector and to use our knowledge as our key contributor to shape the modern business sector and safeguard corporate values and the rule of law.

- We believe equal opportunities, diversity and equality between the genders to be core values of a well-functioning and sustainable business sector. We see that there is an increased focus on gender balance and diversity in the society as a whole and specifically among several of our clients, says Managing Associate Ingrid Cathrine Nielsen.

In recent years, obligations relating to actively promoting equality and reporting on such work has increased (e.g. in relation to ESG), and we also see fresh initiatives from the Government which may lead to increased demands for gender balance in more companies.

- As one of Norway's biggest M&A firms we have unparalleled access to a great number of companies, and we would like to use our position and knowledge to report on the equality and diversity situation and work in the companies which we assist in connection with different transactions, says Managing Associate Trine Vabø.

Inspired by Swedish colleagues

Earlier this year, our close partner in Sweden, Advokatfirman Vinge, expanded their due diligence process to include equal opportunities. They called it Dude Diligence.

- The way we see it, gender inequality in the business world leads to missed opportunities and inefficiencies. Needless to say, it’s a problem that transcends borders. Our aim with Dude Diligence was to take a step in the right direction, and it’s very encouraging to see it implemented in the Norwegian market by Thommessen, says Vinge´s Managing Partner Maria-Pia Hope.

- Inspired by Vinge, we wanted to contribute with our knowledge in a similar fashion, and have decided to include a review of the gender balance in the board, management and key roles of companies in our due diligence review, says Ingrid.

Thommessen has also included a review of the companies' equality and diversity work.

Our wish is to add value to our clients and the society by encouraging equality and diversity to be a relevant factor in mergers and acquisitions. Trine Vabø
Managing Associate

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