The Plight of Women in Positions of Corporate Leadership in the United States, the European Union, and Japan: Differing Laws and Cultures, Similar Issues

Forthcoming University of Michigan Journal of Gender & Law (2020).

Ross School of Business Paper No. 1396

62 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2019

See all articles by Bettina Binder

Bettina Binder

Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences

Terry Morehead Dworkin

Indiana University Bloomington - Office for Women's Affairs

Niculina Nae

Nagoya University of Commerce and Business

Cindy A. Schipani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Irina Averianova

Nagoya University of Commerce and Business

Date Written: November 2019

Abstract

Gender diversity in corporate governance is a highly debated issue worldwide. National campaigns such as “2020 Women on Boards” in the United States and “Women on the Board Pledge for Europe” are examples of just two initiatives aimed at increasing female representation in the corporate boardroom. Several European countries have adopted board quotas as a means toward achieving gender diversity. Japan has passed an Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace to lay a foundation for establishing targets for promoting women.

This paper examines the status of women in positions of leadership in the United States, several major countries in the European Union and Japan. We focus on the legal backdrop in each jurisdiction regarding gender discrimination and studies tending to demonstrate the economic benefits of gender diversity. We conclude that although important steps have been taken in the direction of narrowing the gender gap in all jurisdictions examined, progress has also been slow and difficult across the board. The issue of too few women at the top will not be resolved until there is a wider acceptance that female leaders can benefit their organizations and contribute to social and economic progress. Moreover, the presence of women on corporate boards is valuable in and of itself and the status quo ought to be further challenged in international business.

Keywords: corporate law, corporate governance, leadership, women in business, women in leadership, glass ceiling, gender diversity, employment discrimination

JEL Classification: K10, K22, K31, J22, J71, J38

Suggested Citation

Binder, Bettina and Dworkin, Terry Morehead and Nae, Niculina and Schipani, Cindy A. and Averianova, Irina, The Plight of Women in Positions of Corporate Leadership in the United States, the European Union, and Japan: Differing Laws and Cultures, Similar Issues (November 2019). Forthcoming University of Michigan Journal of Gender & Law (2020).; Ross School of Business Paper No. 1396. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3493684

Bettina Binder (Contact Author)

Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Tiefenbronner Str. 65
Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg D-75175
Germany

Terry Morehead Dworkin

Indiana University Bloomington - Office for Women's Affairs ( email )

Bloomington, IN
United States

Niculina Nae

Nagoya University of Commerce and Business ( email )

4-4 Sagamine, Komenoki
Nisshin, 470-0193
Japan

Cindy A. Schipani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
(734) 763-2257 (Phone)
(734) 763-2257 (Fax)

Irina Averianova

Nagoya University of Commerce and Business ( email )

4-4 Sagamine, Komenoki
Nisshin, 470-0193
Japan

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