Women in the Boardroom: Institutional and Organizational Approaches to Gender Equality
Dr. Anja Kirsch, Elgen Sauerborn, M.A.
The key objective of the BOARDEQUALITY project is to develop a better understanding of women’s access and contribution to corporate boards, drawing on institutional and organizational theories. The project combines quantitative and qualitative research designs.
The project consists of three parts.
Part I: By means of a systematic literature review, we develop a detailed research agenda that will allow us to generate new knowledge on the antecedents and effects of board gender composition.
Part II: In a case study of women and men on supervisory boards of German listed companies, we examine women’s and men’s access to boards over time. We investigate the professional roles of supervisory board members and how these change as women’s presence on boards increases. We examine the relationship between women’s presence on boards and gender equality within companies.
Part III: We examine the relationship between the representation of women on boards and the existence of diversity policies in firms.
Results of the literature review have been published in Kirsch, A. (2018) The gender composition of corporate boards: A review and research agenda. The Leadership Quarterly 29(2). 346-364.
Results on women’s access to boards in Germany have been published in: Kirsch, A. (2017) Women’s access to boards in Germany: regulation and symbolic change. In Seierstad, C., Gabaldon, P. & Mensi-Klarbach, H. (eds.): Gender Diversity in the Boardroom: The Use of Different Quota Regulations. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan: 205-232. Women’s access to boards has also been discussed in a post for the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Creating Corporate Cultures Blog.
Results on women’s access to boards in Germany has been published in the DIW Berlin Managerinnen-Barometer in 2014, 2015 and 2016 (English: Women Executive Barometer 2014, 2015 and 2016), and reported in the media.
Interim results of our research have been presented at the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) Annual Conference, Milan, Italy, in June 2013; German Industrial Relations Association (GIRA) Annual Conference, Erlangen, in October 2013; Wissenschaftliche Kommission Organisation (WK Org) Workshop, Jena, in February 2014; Gender, Work & Organisation (GWO) Conference, Keele University UK, in June 2014; Women on boards workshop, University Witten/Herdecke, in November 2015; Hans Böckler Stiftung /WZB conference “What does co-determination do: what can we learn from research?” in May 2016; the Hans Böckler Stiftung / Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen workshop “Frauen in Führungs- und Kontrollgremien” in October 2016; the “economy, feminism and science (efas)” Conference at HTW Berlin in December 2016; the HEC Paris Inequality in Organizations and Society Research Conference in May 2017; the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) Annual Conference, Lyon, France, in June 2017, and Wissenschaftliche Kommission Organisation (WK Org) Workshop, Hamburg, in February 2018.