Gender Diversity on European Banks' Board of Directors: Traces of Discrimination

30 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2009

See all articles by Ruth Mateos de Cabo

Ruth Mateos de Cabo

Universidad San Pablo CEU

Ricardo Gimeno

Banco de España

Maria Nieto

Banco de España

Date Written: March, 18 2009


In today's corporate world, board diversity has become a relevant topic and gender diversity is an important aspect of board diversity. Our paper aims at bridging the gap between the scarce of studies about women's presence on the boards of directors of banks and the growing importance of the gender diversity as an important topic of board diversity, at a time when a number of European market regulators are considering women quotas on the publicly traded companies' board as a requirement on their Codes of Conduct, and when global crisis in the banking sector is opening up corporate boards to more female candidates in order to gain better corporate governance.

The objectives of this paper are twofold: First, to study women's presence on boards of European Union (EU25) banks and identity those determinants that can explain their presence on their boards of directors, and second, try to identify the types of discrimination that are behind this determinants in order to show the economics and policy implications that can be derived of our analysis. In this sense, we have found evidence of different types of discrimination. There are banks that prefer a friendly board and try to avoid hire women directors. We have found also sings of statistical discrimination according to which women would be excluded from the boards of banks with higher risk. Finally, there is also some evidence of the Becker's discrimination, in the sense that banks in more dynamics and competitive markets have a greater presence of women on their boards.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Board of Directors, Banks, Gender Diversity, Discrimination

JEL Classification: G34, G21, J16, J71, C35

Suggested Citation

Mateos de Cabo, Ruth and Gimeno, Ricardo and Nieto, Maria J., Gender Diversity on European Banks' Board of Directors: Traces of Discrimination (March, 18 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Ruth Mateos de Cabo

Universidad San Pablo CEU ( email )

Julián Romea, 23
28003 Madrid, 28003

Ricardo Gimeno (Contact Author)

Banco de España ( email )

Madrid 28014

Maria J. Nieto

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014

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