Gender diversity on corporate boards: an empirical investigation of Italian listed companies

MIXITE des Conseils d’ADM en ITALIE

In recent years, there has been a growing consensus that gender diversity could improve the economic and social performance of companies—although progress has been painfully slow. In Italy, Law n. 120/2011 has required that since 2012 the composition of corporate boards must comprise at least 1/5 women and, from 2015, 1/3 women. Here, our primary aim was to study the proportion and the progression of female directors on the boards of Italian companies over the period between 2009–2014, among a sample of 60 companies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.

Our results confirm that Italian law has produced significant effects on the composition of corporate boards. Moreover, we found that female directors are generally of Italian ethnic origin and have high levels of education.

Furthermore, female directors are more likely to be professional figures with experience—the percentages of female directors with professional qualifications as well as the percentage of female directors on boards of other companies have consistently increased during the period mentioned. Our findings provide a descriptive analysis of female directors during the period between 2009–2014, thereby presenting a picture of gender equality in the Italian context.

This article is published as part of a collection on the role of women in management and the workplace.

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One Comment

  1. la situation évolue en Europe et dans le monde. L’effet « quota »semble indeniablement efficace no, seulement pour féminiser mais surtout pour professionaliser les conseils

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