'Tribal World: Evidence from global corporate board gender reforms'

SITE (Science, Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship)

Speaker:Shibashish Mukherjee, University of Groningen
Date: Wednesday 23 October 2019
Time: 10.30
Location: Streatham Court B

Further details

We posit that ‘out-group’ women directors would experience a loss of representation during periods of macroeconomic uncertainty owing to ‘taste-based’ bias prevalent within global corporate boards. We argue that the origins of this bias lies in the ‘tribal instincts’ of the board’s male-dominated ‘in-group’ membership. Consistent with these expectations we provide evidence which shows that firms within countries that experiences an ‘aggregate earnings shock’ – our identification of treatment countries facing significant macroeconomic uncertainty – reduces women’s representation within their corporate boards. We propose two mechanisms which would potentially alleviate some of the negative representational pressure faced by women directors. (i.) Coercive board gender reforms such as gender quotas, and (ii.) soft reforms such as corporate governance codes which ‘recommends’ corporate gender diversity, when coupled with women in leadership position such as the Chief Executive Officer. We provide further evidence supporting both these mechanisms.