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On the same page? Differences between male and female board members on the benefits of a gender-balanced representation

Maria João Guedes (Department of Management, ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal)
Pankaj C. Patel (Villanova School of Business, Villanova, UK)
Sara Falcão Casaca (Department of Social Science, ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 29 September 2022

Issue publication date: 10 April 2023

586

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the interplay between male and female board members’ beliefs about women’s competence to fill board positions (valence), the perceived benefits of a greater gender-balanced boardroom (value) and the significance attributed to the gender quota law as a relevant instrument in eliciting change in board composition.

Design/methodology/approach

Looking through the lens of expectancy-value theory, the authors investigate whether the perceived benefits of a gender quota law mediate the path between the beliefs about women’s competence to become board members and the perceived benefits of a greater gender-balanced representation in the boardroom. In addition, the authors investigate whether female and male board members share the same beliefs about a gender-balanced representation.

Findings

The results show that there are differences in beliefs about women’s competencies to become board members and the perceived benefits of a greater gender-balanced boardroom. Female board members hold stronger beliefs on the competence of women to fill board positions and, thus, assign greater importance to the gender quota law, which, in turn, impacts the greater significance attributed to equal representation of women in the boardroom.

Practical implications

The findings shed new light on the debate concerning gender quotas aimed at promoting gender-balanced boardrooms by pointing out that differences in value expectations between male and female board members may prevent intraboard gender-equal dynamics.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature by adding new insights on how male and female board members perceive the value of legally bound gender quotas, in association with their beliefs about women’s competence to fill board positions (valence) and their expectations in terms of the beneficial outcomes of a more gender-balanced board composition.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the valuable research support from Dr Susana Ramalho Marques and Nuno Paço. The authors also acknowledge the valuable comments from Siri Terjesen, Heloísa Perista and Cathrine Seierstad. Finally, Maria João Guedes and Sara Falcão Casaca acknowledge the financial support from the Foundation of Science and Technology (Project funded: PTDC/SOC-ASO/29895/2017 and UIDB/04521/2020).

Citation

Guedes, M.J., Patel, P.C. and Casaca, S.F. (2023), "On the same page? Differences between male and female board members on the benefits of a gender-balanced representation", Corporate Governance, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 514-533. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-01-2022-0032

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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