To read this content please select one of the options below:

The gender diversity–performance linkage at the board of directors and the workforce levels: testing two competing curvilinear models

Irene Campos-García (Department of Business Administration (ADO), Applied Economics II and Foundations of Economic Analysis, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain)
José Ángel Zúñiga-Vicente (Department of Business Administration (ADO), Applied Economics II and Foundations of Economic Analysis, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 12 December 2022

22

Abstract

Purpose

The use of linear models has major limitations for accurately representing the true link between gender diversity and organizational performance. This study aims to explore two curvilinear models and tests which one – the U-shape or the inverted U-shape – best represents the gender diversity–performance link at two hierarchical levels: the board of directors and the workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

Both models are tested using data collected from a representative sample of Spanish educational organizations, which are dominated numerically by women, although women are still slightly underrepresented in managerial positions.

Findings

The results show the existence of an inverted U-shape and, therefore, the existence of a potential “optimal” level of gender diversity for both the board of directors and the workforce. While the highest performance by the board of directors is attained when the proportion of women and men is balanced in the workforce, the highest level of performance is attained when the proportion of women is greater.

Originality/value

There are hardly any studies simultaneously exploring the gender diversity–performance linkage at two hierarchical levels where the proportion of women/men is substantially different: the board of directors and the workforce. Thus, this study contributes to better know whether such relationship is dependent on the hierarchical position. It is important to know this because each level is related to different functions and tasks and shape a social status that can significantly influence performance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Financial support is gratefully acknowledged from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (RTI2018-097447-B-I00) and Ministry of Science and Innovation (PID2021-124641NB-I00). Any errors are our own responsibility.

Citation

Campos-García, I. and Zúñiga-Vicente, J.Á. (2022), "The gender diversity–performance linkage at the board of directors and the workforce levels: testing two competing curvilinear models", Gender in Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-02-2022-0054

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles