Public Attention to Gender Equality and the Demand for Female Directors

58 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019 Last revised: 25 Mar 2020

See all articles by Mariassunta Giannetti

Mariassunta Giannetti

Stockholm School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Swedish House of Finance

Tracy Yue Wang

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 13, 2020

Abstract

We explore whether demand factors contribute to low female board participation. We use time-varying public attention to gender equality as a shock that differentially affects the demand for female directors of firms with different ex ante culture towards gender equality. We find that public attention is associated with an increase in female board representation, especially in firms whose ex ante culture is more sympathetic to gender equality. Furthermore, public attention to gender equality changes the way female directors are recruited. First, the pool of female directors broadens without any obvious compromises on quality. Second, public attention to gender equality reduces the probability that connected men are appointed, leading to higher female board representation.

Keywords: Boards, Gender, Public Attention, Networks, Connections, Homophily, Corporate Culture

JEL Classification: G3, M5, D22

Suggested Citation

Giannetti, Mariassunta and Wang, Tracy Yue, Public Attention to Gender Equality and the Demand for Female Directors (March 13, 2020). European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 667/2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3341518 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3341518

Mariassunta Giannetti

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/mariassuntagiannetti/Home

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
111 60 Stockholm
Sweden

Tracy Yue Wang (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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