Corporate Board Quotas and Gender Equality Policies in the Workplace

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Publication Date 2022
ISSN 1540-5907
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Do corporate board gender quotas increase attention to gender equality in workplace policies? Existing research examines the link between quotas, financial performance, and women's promotion, but we lack an understanding of how quotas impact the structural determinants of gender imbalance in the workplace. We compare the case of Italy, which adopted a quota in 2011, to a counterfactual country with no quota: Greece.

Using a difference-in-difference approach, we analyze the corporate reports of publicly listed companies in both countries over time. We find a 50% increase in post-quota Italian companies' attention to gender equality issues, especially relating to leadership and family care. This increase is not exclusively driven by the share of women on boards, suggesting that quotas influence the importance that both women and men within firms give to gender equality. Qualitative analysis finds that observed changes are not window dressing: companies developed new equality initiatives after the quota.

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London School of Economics (LSE): EUROPP Blog, 07/07/2022: How corporate board quotas influence gender equality policies within companies

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