New Delhi: New research from the University of Otago has uncovered a potential solution to the under-representation of women in senior management.
Associate Professor Helen Roberts and Dr Pallab Biswas, both from the Department of Accounting and Finance, co-authored the study which found that more women on boards of directors are associated with more women in senior management. direction.
The research, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, found that while one or two women on a board are helpful in advancing women in senior management, three or more female directors are more beneficial.
Associate Professor Roberts says organizations have come under increasing pressure to promote gender diversity on boards over the past two decades.
Since 2003, many governments have implemented gender quotas for boards of directors.
They decided to undertake research to better understand the effect of having women on boards.
“In other words, are women directors appointed ‘tokens’ to meet the gender expectations of the board or the decisions of the regulator? “
Their research found the answer to be “no,” she says.
“Our study suggests that providing equal opportunities for women to be appointed to board positions will promote greater gender diversity in leadership positions and may help create a pipeline for future appointments. CEO and board of directors. “
Associate Professor Roberts says research has also found that the association between women on boards and gender diversity in senior management is almost entirely due to women in non-executive positions on corporate boards. ‘administration.
This is probably due to the independence of the non-executive directors from the executive directors.
While the study examines the influence of women’s representation on UK corporate boards from 1999 to 2019, the findings can be applied in other countries.
In New Zealand, the promotion of greater gender diversity on the board is underway, and in 2020 nearly one in five companies listed on the NZX, the New Zealand Stock Exchange does had no women on the board, she said.
Dr Biswas says their research supports a higher proportion of female non-executive director appointments, which will benefit companies as a whole.
“There is already evidence that more women on board promotes greater gender equity throughout the organization and a more gender integrated workforce.
“Companies that currently fail to diversify their board and workplace will benefit the most, as existing evidence shows that greater diversity improves business performance,” he says.
Professor Larelle Chapple, Queensland University of Technology, and Professor Kevin Stainback, Purdue University, also co-authored the research.