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Achieving gender balance on British boards with the soft-law approach: directors’perspective

Kakabadse, N. ORCID:, Kakabadse, A. and Goyal, R. (2017) Achieving gender balance on British boards with the soft-law approach: directors’perspective. In: EURAM 2017 - Managing Knowledge: Making Knowledge Work, 21 - 24 June, Glasgow.

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A soft-law approach is followed in the UK for improving gender diversity on boards. Regulatory authorities recommend voluntary targets and companies endeavour to achieve them. In this paper, the authors present the result of a study exploring the causes and solutions of gender homogeneity on British boards. The paper is based on thirty-three interviews with board members of FTSE 350 companies. It posits that British boards have been gender homogeneous due to discrimination against women, a lack of confidence among women and a lack of objectivity in nomination processes. Hence regulatory intervention is warranted to improve gender diversity on boards. However, the current soft-law approach is the best-suited strategy due to established institutional processes. Also, there is an increasing demand for more intrusive statutory action if the current approach fails to achieve gender parity on boards, soon enough. The paper contributes to Institutional theory, public policy and corporate praxis.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:71725

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