A Comprehensive Study into the Dynamics of Boardroom Gender Diversity: Female Underrepresentation- Facts, Causes and Implications
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Over the last three decades, the issue of diversity in corporate leadership has been the source of extensive debate, encompassing not only the field of corporate governance, but also the political, academic and social agendas across Europe. Gender diversity and the under-representation of women in top corporate positions, have been particularly highlighted and have often taken centre-stage in diversity debates, as a result of the limited progress businesses across Europe have made in providing gender equality in their boardrooms. The low proportion of women in executive positions across European businesses, demonstrates that despite widespread efforts to increase gender equality in the most senior ranks of business management since the 1980s, women are still finding numerous barriers to in their career progression beyond a certain organisational level. In light of these debates, gender-oriented quota systems have been introduced in a number of European countries, including Norway and France and are being further discussed in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Moreover, in 2007, a proposal by the European Commission was initiated to implement European-wide quotas through legislation that would see all publicly traded businesses increase female representation in their boardrooms to 40%, up from the current EU average of 13.7% (Broome, 2008:667). The potential implementation of these legislative measures is estimated to affect over 1000 businesses in the UK and could particularly see the already suffering financial sector unprepared to meet European diversity requirements. The aim of this work is to address a number of issues arising from the topic of gender diversity in the corporate field, while limiting the scope of study to the UK financial sector, where the implications of female under-representation and the potential change in EU legislation have a wide and potentially damaging impact
Masters in Business Administration
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