Diversidad de género en los consejos de administracióndeterminantes, características e implicaciones

  1. Martínez García, Irma
Supervised by:
  1. Silvia Gómez Ansón Director

Defence university: Universidad de Oviedo

Fecha de defensa: 10 June 2019

  1. María Angeles Fernández Izquierdo Chair
  2. María Isabel Huerta Viesca Secretary
  3. Ricardo Gimeno Nogués Committee member
  4. María del Carmen González Menéndez Committee member
  5. Ruth V. Aguilera Vaqués Committee member
  1. Administración de Empresas

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 594817 DIALNET lock_openRUO editor


The underrepresentation of women on boards of directors worldwide has stimulated a political and academic debate. Some aspects have been widely analyzed by the academic literature, such as the implications on firm performance of the presence of women on boards (the so-called business-case) or the implications of the enactment of mandatory quotas (hard law), especially the Norwegian quota, on women directors’ characteristics and firm performance. However, other aspects related to gender equality on boards remain almost unexplored. This PhD. thesis aims to contribute to this strand of academic literature by analyzing some relatively unexplored issues that correspond to the determinants, characteristics, and implications of gender diversity on boards. Firstly, it studies how country-level institutional configurations influence the enactment legislation, either soft -codes- or hard -quotas-, that aims to increase the representation of women on boards. Secondly, it addresses how legislation (soft quotas and codes) influences gender diversity on boards, women directors’ attributes, and firm performance. Thirdly, it focuses on firm-level determinants of gender diversity, specifically, how ownership structure, shareholders’ identity, and the control exercised by different kinds of shareholders influence gender diversity on boards. Finally, within the context of family firms, it aims to analyze how female family-affiliated directors contribute to the performance of family firms. The first study describes legislation that aims to promote gender diversity on boards of directors (i.e. codes of good governance with gender recommendations and gender board quotas with –hard- and without –soft- penalties) for a set of European countries. Building on institutional theory and using a balanced panel of 31 European countries (EU-28, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland) and 465 observations from 2002-2016, it explores how formal and informal national institutional contexts correspond with the enactment of board gender codes and quotas. The second analysis refers to how a code, soft quota, or proposal for supranational law for board gender diversity affects gender diversity on boards, women directors’ human capital characteristics, and firm performance. Building on institutional, resource dependence, and upper echelons theories, and using an 11-year panel of non-financial listed firms in Spain, it analyzes the effects of the 2006 Spanish Corporate Governance Code, the 2007 Spanish Equality Law and the proposed EU Directive of 2012. The third essay studies how a firm’s ownership structure, the identity of its large shareholders and the control they exercise may impact the presence of women on boards of directors. In particular, how families as largest shareholders, other large blockholders, and above all institutional and foreign investors, affect gender diversity on boards of directors. The theoretical background refers to different theories that have been put forth to explain female underrepresentation on boards and the attitudes of typologies of shareholders with regard the presence of women directors on boards (i.e. social constructionist, gender stereotyping and homosocial reproduction, human capital, social identity, agency, and socioemotional wealth theories, among others). The data base used is a panel of Spanish non-financial listed firms over an 11-year period. Finally, given the importance of family businesses worldwide and the impact of family control on women’s presence on boards, the last analysis refers to how the presence of female family directors relates to family firm performance. Building on resource dependence and upper echelon theories, for a panel of family non-financial listed firms over an 11-year period, this last essay explores the contribution to family firms’ performance of women family-affiliated directors, and how this contribution relates to their human capital attributes.