Gender – Work Package 3

Opening the black box: An exploration of the functioning of corporate boards from female and male board members’ perspective.
Supervisors: prof. dr. Patrizia Zanoni & prof. dr. Petra Meier
Researcher: Hannelore Roos

Women are heavily underrepresented in top jobs. In 2008, for example, only 6.9% of the directors of companies listed on Euronext Brussels were women. Today, addressing this gender imbalance is high on the political agenda of several European countries. In 2011, Belgium adopted quota legislation that requires listed and public companies to have at least one third of their boards occupied by women. The arguments in favour of increasing the number of women on boards of directors come from a gender equality perspective as well as from an economic one. The latter focuses on the potential positive effects of gender diversity on the functioning of boards. Scientific research on this subject, however, is limited. This project aims to investigate the effects of gender diversity on the functioning of boards of directors, with a particular focus on decision-making processes. We do so by means of in-depth interviews with male and female board members.

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