The Diversity Gap in the Public–Private Partnership Industry: An Examination of Women and Visible Minorities in Senior Leadership Positions

22 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2019

Date Written: June 2019

Abstract

Despite intense focus on leadership diversity in industries such as high technology, business, the media and academia, to date the infrastructure sector has not received the same level of scrutiny. This paper develops a theoretical framework to explain why leadership diversity matters in the management of complex infrastructure projects delivered through public–private partnerships, and then empirically identifies the diversity gap in senior leadership in the PPP industry worldwide. The study is based on an examination of over 2,800 public and private sector executives, board members and politicians responsible for PPPs in over 90 countries. The results show that women and racial minorities are significantly underrepresented in senior leadership roles, a pattern that is deeply entrenched and consistent globally. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the findings for the infrastructure industry, and explores how a lack of leadership diversity can influence project management outcomes.

Keywords: Infrastructure, public-private partnerships, gender, diversity

Suggested Citation

Siemiatycki, Matti, The Diversity Gap in the Public–Private Partnership Industry: An Examination of Women and Visible Minorities in Senior Leadership Positions (June 2019). Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 90, Issue 2, pp. 393-414, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3379877 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apce.12240

Matti Siemiatycki (Contact Author)

University of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

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