General Shareholder Meetings as a Medium for Citizen Activism for Promoting Socially Desirable Outcomes; the case of Gender Diversity in Boards

14 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2021 Last revised: 16 Jun 2021

See all articles by Melsa Ararat

Melsa Ararat

Sabanci University - Sabancı Business School, Corporate Governance Forum

Borhan Sayedy

Sabanci University - School of Management

Date Written: May 1, 2020

Abstract

We empirically examine the effect of citizen activism at the annual general shareholder meetings of listed companies related to gender diversity in corporate boards. Based on a sample of 231 general shareholders meetings that took place over a period of seven years between 2013 to 2019, we find that questions asked by activist shareholders about the board diversity policies led to a significantly higher appointment of female directors compared to the matching sample. We conclude that electronic general assemblies that provide for low cost participation of shareholders, can facilitate socially motivated shareholder interventions that may shape corporate governance choices.

Keywords: Gender, Boards, Engagement, Shareholder Activism, Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility

JEL Classification: G30, K22, G38

Suggested Citation

Ararat, Melsa and Sayedy, Borhan, General Shareholder Meetings as a Medium for Citizen Activism for Promoting Socially Desirable Outcomes; the case of Gender Diversity in Boards (May 1, 2020). University of Oslo Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2021-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3743368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3743368

Melsa Ararat (Contact Author)

Sabanci University - Sabancı Business School, Corporate Governance Forum ( email )

Orhanli Tuzla
Istanbul, Orhanli, Tuzla 34956
Turkey
+90-2164839710 (Phone)
+90-2164839715 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sabanciuniv.edu

Borhan Sayedy

Sabanci University - School of Management ( email )

Istanbul
Turkey

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