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Women on corporate boards in Italy

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  • Magda Bianco

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Angela Ciavarella

    ()
    (Consob)

  • Rossella Signoretti

    ()
    (Consob)

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    Abstract

    We examine the presence of women in Italian corporate boards before the introduction of Law 120/2012. We consider all directors of publicly-traded firms in 2008-10 and investigate the potential determinants of having boards with gender-diverse representation and the correlation between female directorship and selected governance measures. Two different models emerge. In the majority of diverse boards at least one of the women has a family connection with the controlling shareholder: family-affiliated women are more frequently found in smaller companies, firms with a concentrated ownership, businesses that operate in the consumer sector and those with larger boards. By contrast, unaffiliated women are more common in widely held companies, companies with younger and more highly educated boards, those with a higher proportion of independent directors and those with fewer “connected” directors. With reference to governance-related outcomes, the number of board meetings is positively correlated with the presence of women on boards, while no difference is found between female and male directors in board meeting attendance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 174.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_174_13

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    Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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    Keywords: gender diversity; corporate governance; board of directors.;

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    1. Paul Gompers & Joy Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Corporate Governance And Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 107-155, February.
    2. Val Singh & Susan Vinnicombe, 2004. "Why So Few Women Directors in Top UK Boardrooms? Evidence and Theoretical Explanations," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 479-488, October.
    3. David A. Matsa & Amalia R. Miller, 2013. "A Female Style in Corporate Leadership? Evidence from Quotas," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 136-69, July.
    4. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
    5. Singh, Val & Terjesen, Siri & Vinnicombe, Susan, 2008. "Newly appointed directors in the boardroom:: How do women and men differ," European Management Journal, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 48-58, February.
    6. Agrawal, Anup & Knoeber, Charles R, 2001. "Do Some Outside Directors Play a Political Role?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 179-98, April.
    7. Stephen Brammer & Andrew Millington & Stephen Pavelin, 2007. "Gender and Ethnic Diversity Among UK Corporate Boards," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 393-403, 03.
    8. Siri Terjesen & Val Singh, 2008. "Female Presence on Corporate Boards: A Multi-Country Study of Environmental Context," Jena Economic Research Papers, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics 2008-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
    9. Helen Kang & Mandy Cheng & Sidney J. Gray, 2007. "Corporate Governance and Board Composition: diversity and independence of Australian boards," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 194-207, 03.
    10. Renée Adams & Patricia Funk, 2009. "Beyond the glass ceiling: Does gender matter?," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 1172, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    11. Ruth Mateos de Cabo & Ricardo Gimeno & María Nieto, 2012. "Gender Diversity on European Banks’ Boards of Directors," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 109(2), pages 145-162, August.
    12. Val Singh & Susan Vinnicombe & Phyl Johnson, 2001. "Women Directors on Top UK Boards," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 206-216, 07.
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