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Nationality and Gender Diversity on Swiss Corporate Boards


  • Winfried Ruigrok

    (University of St Gallen, Switzerland)

  • Simon Peck
  • Sabina Tacheva

    (Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School)


For a sample of 210 Swiss publicly listed firms we analyse the characteristics of all 1678 directors in the year 2003 in order to investigate how board members' nationality and gender interact with directors' level of independence, number of other directorships and demographic characteristics. Our results suggest that whereas foreign directors tend to be more independent, women directors are more likely to be affiliated to firm management through family ties and that foreign directors hold significantly lower numbers of directorships at other Swiss boards. Female and foreign directors also differ in terms of educational background, educational level, age and board tenure. Some of our gender diversity findings are different from previous research. We conclude that in order to manage diversity on corporate boards it is imperative to understand the characteristics, qualifications and affiliations that these directors bring to the boardroom and that it is important to take national circumstances into account rather than relying on research results from other countries. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Winfried Ruigrok & Simon Peck & Sabina Tacheva, 2007. "Nationality and Gender Diversity on Swiss Corporate Boards," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 546-557, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:4:p:546-557

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    Cited by:

    1. Hermes, Cornelis & Oxelheim, L. & Randoy, Trond & Hooghiemstra, Reginald, 2015. "The impact of board internationalization on earnings management," Research Report 15010-I&O, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    2. repec:kap:jmgtgv:v:21:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10997-016-9362-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kang, Eugene & Ding, David K. & Charoenwong, Charlie, 2010. "Investor reaction to women directors," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(8), pages 888-894, August.
    4. García-Meca, Emma & García-Sánchez, Isabel-María & Martínez-Ferrero, Jennifer, 2015. "Board diversity and its effects on bank performance: An international analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 202-214.
    5. Mehdi Nekhili & Hayette Gatfaoui, 2013. "Are Demographic Attributes and Firm Characteristics Drivers of Gender Diversity? Investigating Women’s Positions on French Boards of Directors," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 227-249, December.
    6. Morten Huse & Sabina Nielsen & Inger Hagen, 2009. "Women and Employee-Elected Board Members, and Their Contributions to Board Control Tasks," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(4), pages 581-597, November.
    7. repec:eee:finana:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:60-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Schwartz-Ziv, Miriam & Weisbach, Michael S., 2013. "What do boards really do? Evidence from minutes of board meetings☆☆Miriam Schwartz-Ziv is from Harvard University and Northeastern University, e-mail: Michael S. Weisb," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, pages 349-366.
    9. Du, Yan & Deloof, Marc & Jorissen, Ann, 2015. "The Roles of Subsidiary Boards in Multinational Enterprises," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 169-181.
    10. Kathrin Johansen & Saskia Laser & Doris Neuberger & Ettore Andreani, 2017. "Inside or outside control of banks? Evidence from the composition of supervisory boards," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 31-58, February.
    11. Schmid, Stefan & Dauth, Tobias, 2014. "Does internationalization make a difference? Stock market reaction to announcements of international top executive appointments," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 63-77.
    12. Davoine, Eric & Ravasi, Claudio, 2013. "The relative stability of national career patterns in European top management careers in the age of globalisation: A comparative study in France/Germany/Great Britain and Switzerland," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 152-163.
    13. Saeed, Abubakr & Belghitar, Yacine & Yousaf, Amna, 2016. "Firm-level determinants of gender diversity in the boardrooms: Evidence from some emerging markets," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1076-1088.
    14. Salau ABDULMALIK O. & Ayoib CHE AHMAD, 2016. "Boardroom diversity and audit fees: director ethnicity, independence and nationality," The Audit Financiar journal, Chamber of Financial Auditors of Romania, vol. 14(136), pages 413-413, Aprilie.
    15. Rieck, Christian & Bendig, Helena & Hünnemeyer, Julius & Nitzsche, Lisa, 2012. "Diversität im Aufsichtsrat: Studie über die Zusammensetzung deutscher Aufsichtsräte," Working Paper Series: Business and Law 01, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Business and Law.
    16. Jenny María Ruiz-Jiménez & María del Mar Fuentes-Fuentes & Matilde Ruiz-Arroyo, 2016. "Knowledge Combination Capability and Innovation: The Effects of Gender Diversity on Top Management Teams in Technology-Based Firms," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 503-515, May.
    17. 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.

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