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Women on corporate boards in Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Magda Bianco

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Angela Ciavarella

    () (Consob)

  • Rossella Signoretti

    () (Consob)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_174_13
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    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/qef/2013-0174/QEF_174.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Singh, Val & Terjesen, Siri & Vinnicombe, Susan, 2008. "Newly appointed directors in the boardroom:: How do women and men differ," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 48-58, February.
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    5. David A. Matsa & Amalia R. Miller, 2013. "A Female Style in Corporate Leadership? Evidence from Quotas," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 136-169, July.
    6. Stephen Brammer & Andrew Millington & Stephen Pavelin, 2007. "Gender and Ethnic Diversity Among UK Corporate Boards," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 393-403, March.
    7. Siri Terjesen & Val Singh, 2008. "Female Presence on Corporate Boards: A Multi-Country Study of Environmental Context," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(1), pages 55-63, November.
    8. 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, vol. 15(2), pages 194-207, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender diversity; corporate governance; board of directors.;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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