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Female Leadership and Gender Gap within Firms: Evidence from an Italian Board Reform

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  • Agata Maida
  • Andrea Weber

Abstract

The authors evaluate a 2011 Italian law that installed a step-wise increase in gender quota that remains effective for three consecutive board renewals of listed limited liability firms. They link firm-level information on board membership and board election dates with detailed employment and earnings records from the Social Security registers. Exploiting the staggered introduction of the gender quota regulation and variation in board renewal years across firms, the authors evaluate the effect of the board gender composition on measures of gender diversity in top positions over a period of four years. While the reform substantially raised the female membership on corporate boards, results show only moderate and imprecisely estimated spillover effects on the representation of women in top executive or top earnings positions.

Suggested Citation

  • Agata Maida & Andrea Weber, 2022. "Female Leadership and Gender Gap within Firms: Evidence from an Italian Board Reform," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 75(2), pages 488-515, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:75:y:2022:i:2:p:488-515
    DOI: 10.1177/0019793920961995
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    Cited by:

    1. Moritz Drechsel-Grau & Felix Holub, 2020. "Gender Gaps and the Role of Bosses," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_237, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    2. Julia Bachtrögler & Julia Bock-Schappelwein & Paul Eckerstorfer & Peter Huber & Christine Mayrhuber & Mark Sommer & Gerhard Streicher, 2019. "Wachstumsfaktor Gleichstellung. Der ökonomische Nutzen von Gender Budgeting in Wien," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 65741, September.
    3. Simon Jäger & Benjamin Schoefer & Jörg Heining, 2021. "Labor in the Boardroom," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(2), pages 669-725.
    4. Lena Janys, 2021. "Testing the Presence of Implicit Hiring Quotas with Application to German Universities," Papers 2109.14343, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2021.
    5. Nikolaos Theodoropoulos & John Forth & Alex Bryson, 2019. "Are Women Doing It For Themselves? Gender Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap," DoQSS Working Papers 19-07, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    6. Pierre Deschamps, 2018. "Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: a Boon or a Bane for Women?," Sciences Po publications 82, Sciences Po.
    7. Macchiavello, Rocco & Menzel, Andreas & Rabbani, Atonu & Woodruff, Christopher, 2020. "Challenges of Change: An Experiment Promoting Women to Managerial Roles in the Bangladeshi Garment Sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 15085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Barbara Biasi & Heather Sarsons, 2020. "Flexible Wages, Bargaining, and the Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 27894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Stephan Klasen & Anna Minasyan, 2021. "Affirmative Action and Intersectionality at the Top: Evidence from South Africa," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 3-35, January.
    10. Morsy, Hanan & El-Shal, Amira & Woldemichael, Andinet, 2019. "Women Self-Selection out of the Credit Market in Africa," MPRA Paper 100395, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Masso, Jaan & Meriküll, Jaanika & Vahter, Priit, 2022. "The role of firms in the gender wage gap," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 454-473.
    12. Janys, Lena, 2020. "Evidence for a Two-Women Quota in University Departments across Disciplines," IZA Discussion Papers 13372, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Lena Janys, 2022. "Testing the Presence of Implicit Hiring Quotas with Application to German Universities," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 165, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    14. Alexandra Fedorets & Anna Gibert & Norma Burow, 2019. "Gender Quotas in the Boardroom: New Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1810, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Kunze, Astrid & Katrin Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2022. "Gender diversity, labour in the boardroom and gender quotas," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 16/2022, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    16. Alexandra Fedorets & Anna Gibert, 2022. "Lifting Women Up: Gender Quotas and the Advancement of Women on Corporate Boards," Working Papers 1370, Barcelona School of Economics.
    17. Sondergeld, Virginia & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2022. "Women's Managerial Representation and the Gender Pay Gap," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264013, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Pierre Deschamps, 2018. "Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: a Boon or a Bane for Women?," Sciences Po publications 82, Sciences Po.
    19. Pierre Deschamps, 2018. "Gender Quotas in Hiring Committees: a Boon or a Bane for Women?," SciencePo Working papers hal-03393117, HAL.
    20. Astrid Kunze & Katrin Scharfenkamp, 2022. "Gender Diversity, Gender in the Boardroom and Gender Quotas," CESifo Working Paper Series 10077, CESifo.
    21. Kunze, Astrid & Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2022. "Gender Diversity, Labour in the Boardroom and Gender Quotas," IZA Discussion Papers 15691, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    22. Marika Cabral & Marcus Dillender, 2021. "Gender Differences in Medical Evaluations: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Doctors," NBER Working Papers 29541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Casarico, A. & Lattanzio, S., 2019. "What Firms Do: Gender Inequality in Linked Employer-Employee Data," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1966, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    24. Dalvit, Nicolò & Patel, Aseem & Tan, Joanne, 2022. "Intra-firm hierarchies and gender gaps," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender quota; corporate board reform; glass ceiling; female employment; female managers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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