Empowering Women: The Role of Emancipative Forces in Board Gender Diversity

Journal of Business Ethics 155 (2):495-511 (2019)
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This study investigates the effect of country-level emancipative forces on corporate gender diversity around the world. Based on Welzel’s theory of emancipation, we develop an emancipatory framework of board gender diversity that explains how action resources, emancipative values and civic entitlements enable, motivate and encourage women to take leadership roles on corporate boards. Using a sample of 6390 firms operating in 30 countries around the world, our results show positive single and combined effects of the framework components on board gender diversity. Our research adds to the existing literature in a twofold manner. First, our integrated framework offers a more encompassing, complete and theoretically richer picture of the key drivers of board gender diversity. Second, by testing the framework empirically, we extend the evidence on national drivers of board gender diversity.



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