Gender Diversity on Boards: Beyond Quotas

16 Pages Posted: 27 May 2014 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

See all articles by Barnali Choudhury

Barnali Choudhury

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: May 26, 2014

Abstract

Worldwide there is a growing interest in increasing the number of women on boards. While quotas have been proposed in many countries as a way to address this problem, several countries, including, Germany have rejected this approach. Nevertheless, it is apparent that change is needed as women continue to represent minorities on boards of some of the largest companies.

Moreover, increasing the number of women on boards can be beneficial to firms. While it is not clear whether there is a positive relationship between increasing the number of women on boards and firm profitability, it is clearer that women make positive contributions to the board decision-making process. As a result, increasing the number of women on boards improves the quality of decisions made by the board.

Given the benefits increased numbers of women on boards can produce for companies and countries’ lacklustre interest in quotas, this article canvasses methods by which boards can increase female representation without relying on quotas. As such, it looks to practices adopted by American football teams, Australian mentoring programs, and U.K. disclosure rules. It also examines existing workplace norms and practices which inhibit female labour participation. In doing so, it proposes alternative approaches by which Germany, and other countries can increase gender diversity on boards.

Keywords: corporate governance, gender, diversity, board of directors, corporations, women

JEL Classification: K22, K10

Suggested Citation

Choudhury, Barnali, Gender Diversity on Boards: Beyond Quotas (May 26, 2014). European Business Law Review, 2015 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2442040

Barnali Choudhury (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens
London, WC1E OEG
United Kingdom

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