Board Diversity

1067 Words5 Pages
The significance of corporate boards of directors stems from their central function in establishing strategy, ensuring the monitoring of the manager and managing resources. In this light, the boards’ characteristics are central because they play a significant and crucial role within governance (Hermalin and Weisbach, 2003). One of the most highlighted boards’ characteristics in the recent literature is the diversity of corporate boards. Board diversity has been the subject of several studies carried out by international organizations. Generally stating, all research and articles written on board diversity concentrate on the positive outcomes and sides of diversity. Essentially, the case for diversity in the boardroom centers around two main…show more content…
A cottage industry of studies has explored this issue, as well as the role of diversity in organizational contexts more generally. Existing studies in this area have also raised awareness of the relative homogeneity of corporate boards of directors, highlighted the variation across countries in board gender diversity, and mapped its evolving pattern (Burke, 2000; Carter et al., 2003; Daily and Dalton, 2003; Singh and Vinnicombe, 2004; Singh et al., 2001; Nekhili and Gatfaoui, 2013). The review of the literature underscores the fact that women’s attainment of corporate board positions and Top position are influenced by various barriers described by the metaphor “the glass ceiling”- a barrier so subtle that it is transparent, yet so strong that it prevents women and minorities from moving up the managerial hierarchy (Milliken and Martins, 1996; Daily et al., 1999). The widespread recognition of the difficulties involved in improving the gender balance of corporate boards has prompted the introduction of a number of initiatives such as those that support the educational development of women leaders, mentoring activities within organizations, the generation of increased media attention, more sustained political pressure and, in some countries, legislative compulsion (Grosvold et al.,…show more content…
This paper analyzes gender diversity among the boards of directors of firms listed in the SBF 120 Index during a 6-year period running from 2007 to 2012. It makes two main interesting contributions. First, our study contributes to the growing literature on gender quotas and board gender diversity and constitutes one of the preliminaries studies to investigate whether and how the gender quota has affected the composition of the French boardroom. Second, French listed firms show a highly concentrated ownership structure and are predominantly family-controlled and managed (Faccio and Lang, 2002). Faccio and Lang (2002) show that less than 14% of French firms are widely held compared with 37% in Europe in general; moreover, 64.82% of French firms are controlled by a single family, versus 44.29% in Europe. These characteristics allow us to make a more precise analysis of the impact of board characteristics and ownership structure on the representation of women directors and their affiliation with the controlling
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