Empowering Women: The Role of Emancipative Forces in Board Gender Diversity

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This study investigates the effect of country-level emancipative forces on corporate gender diversity around the world. Based on Welzel’s (Freedom rising: human empowerment and the quest for emancipation. Cambridge University Press, New York, 2013) theory of emancipation, we develop an emancipatory framework of board gender diversity that explains how action resources, emancipative values and civic entitlements enable, motivate and encourage women to take leadership roles on corporate boards. Using a sample of 6390 firms operating in 30 countries around the world, our results show positive single and combined effects of the framework components on board gender diversity. Our research adds to the existing literature in a twofold manner. First, our integrated framework offers a more encompassing, complete and theoretically richer picture of the key drivers of board gender diversity. Second, by testing the framework empirically, we extend the evidence on national drivers of board gender diversity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)495-511
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 20.03.2019

    Research areas

  • Gender and Diversity - Board gender diversity, Board of directors, Corporate board diversity, Emancipative values, Gender development index (GDI)