Gender Diversity in the FTSE 100: The Business Case Claim Explored

33 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2011

See all articles by Mark McCann

Mark McCann

Queen's University Belfast

Sally Wheeler

Australian National University (ANU)

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Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

This article examines the debate within corporate governance about the appointment of female non‐executive directors (NEDs). The first part tracks the diversity story that corporate governance tells about itself from the Cadbury Report (1992) to the Davies Report (2011). The second sets out the evidence used to support the argument that female appointments enhance profits and corporate profile. The third part presents the authors' empirical analysis of FTSE 100 companies and female nonexecutive board membership, and concludes that there is little evidence that companies with female board membership display different characteristics from those without. Industry sector emerges as a significant factor in female appointments. The idea that women should be appointed to boards to increase corporate profitability and profile is not strongly supported by this analysis. A social justice argument based upon the right of woman to equal economic participation opportunities provides a much superior articulation of the need for boardroom diversity.

Suggested Citation

McCann, Mark and Wheeler, Sally, Gender Diversity in the FTSE 100: The Business Case Claim Explored (December 2011). Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 38, Issue 4, pp. 542-574, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1960411 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2011.00558.x

Mark McCann

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Sally Wheeler

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

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