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Gender and Ethnic Diversity Among UK Corporate Boards

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Author Info

  • Stephen Brammer

    (Centre for Business, Organisations and Society, at the University of Bath, UK)

  • Andrew Millington

    (Centre for Business, Organisations and Society, at the University of Bath, UK)

  • Stephen Pavelin

    (University of Reading, UK)

Abstract

This paper investigates the ethnic and gender diversity of the corporate board of UK companies, placing particular emphasis on links to board size and industry characteristics. We employ a novel dataset that covers a large sample of UK PLCs and describes a director's gender, ethnicity and position held. We find both ethnic and gender diversity to be very limited, and that diversity is somewhat less pronounced among executive positions. We find significant cross-sector variation in gender diversity, with an above average prevalence of women in Retail, Utilities, Media and Banking, while such variation in ethnic diversity is considerably less pronounced. Our evidence suggests that a close proximity to final consumers plays a more significant role in shaping board diversity than does the female presence among the industry's workforce. We argue that this shows that board diversity is influenced by a firm's external business environment and particularly an imperative to reflect corresponding diversity among its customers. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Corporate Governance: An International Review.

Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (03)
Pages: 393-403

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Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:2:p:393-403

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Cited by:
  1. Kevin Campbell & Antonio Mínguez-Vera, 2008. "Gender Diversity in the Boardroom and Firm Financial Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 435-451, December.
  2. Emilia Peni, 2014. "CEO and Chairperson characteristics and firm performance," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 185-205, February.
  3. Magda Bianco & Angela Ciavarella & Rossella Signoretti, 2013. "Women on corporate boards in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 174, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. Dalilawati Zainal & Norhayah Zulkifli & Zakiah Saleh, 2013. "Corporate Board Diversity in Malaysia: A Longitudinal Analysis of Gender and Nationality Diversity," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 3(1), pages 136-148, January.
  5. Mijntje Lückerath-Rovers, 2013. "Women on boards and firm performance," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 491-509, May.
  6. Andrea Melis, 2011. "Martin Hilb: New corporate governance," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 509-514, August.
  7. Antonio Mínguez Vera & Kevin Campbell, 2007. "The Influence Of Gender On Spanish Boards Of Directors: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers. Serie EC 2007-08, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  8. Raluca-Georgiana Moscu, 2013. "The Impact of Gender and Age Diversity on Company Performance," Knowledge Horizons - Economics, Faculty of Finance, Banking and Accountancy Bucharest,"Dimitrie Cantemir" Christian University Bucharest, vol. 5(4), pages 215-219, December.
  9. Kevin Campbell & Antonio Minguez Vera, 2010. "Female board appointments and firm valuation: short and long-term effects," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 37-59, February.
  10. O'Reilly, Charles A., III & Main, Brian G. M., 2012. "Women in the Boardroom: Symbols or Substance?," Research Papers 2098, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  11. Houda Ghaya & Gilles Lambert, 2012. "Caractéristiques de la diversité au sein des conseils d’administration et performance financière : une étude empirique sur les entreprises du CAC40," Working Papers of BETA 2012-14, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  12. Rey Dang & Frédéric Teulon, 2014. "Les déterminants organisationnels de la représentation des femmes au sein des conseils d’administration des entreprises du SBF 120," Working Papers 2014-397, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.

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