Gender Quotas on Corporate Boards: Similarities and Differences in Quota Scenarios

Heike Mensi-Klarbach, Cathrine Seierstad

    Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


    In this article, the use of gender quotas to strengthen gender equality on corporate boards is explored. Examining
    national practices in ten European countries we provide an overview, categorizing the design of various corporate
    board quotas (CBQs) and the contexts in which they are embedded. In particular, similarities and differences along
    two dimensions are investigated: the design of the CBQs in terms of their hardness and progressiveness, and the
    institutional context in which they are embedded. From patterns of design and context configurations, different quota scenarios are discerned. We advance the discussion of female representation and the strategies of corporate boards
    beyond the rather misleading dichotomy of voluntary targets versus mandatory quotas, proposing a framework for
    understanding various CBQ designs. Moreover, we suggest that the configuration of design and institutional context,
    resulting in different quota scenarios affects female representation on corporate boards.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)615-631
    JournalEuropean Management Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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