Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 145–162 | Cite as

Gender Diversity on European Banks’ Boards of Directors

  • Ruth Mateos de Cabo
  • Ricardo Gimeno
  • María J. Nieto
Article

Abstract

This article investigates the gender diversity of the corporate board of European Union banks. Employing a large sample of 612 European banks from 20 European countries, it identifies organizational characteristics that could be predictive of women’s presence on bank boards. We identify three factors that play a particularly important role in defining bank board gender diversity. First, the proportion of women on the board is higher for lower-risk banks. We argue that there may be some statistical discrimination behind this relation, although it could also be explained by a real risk-aversion hypothesis. Second, banks with larger boards have a higher proportion of women on their boards, which could be considered a signal of some kind of preference for homogeneity on small boards. Finally, banks that have a growth orientation are more prone to include women on their board, since they may be seen as providers of diverse external resources that are more valued by firms operating under critical circumstances.

Keywords

Banks Board of directors Corporate governance Discrimination Gender diversity 

Abbreviations

CEO

Chief executive officer

EU25

European Union member countries excluding Romania and Bulgaria that entered in 2007

EPWN

European Professional Women’s Network

FTSE

Financial Times Stock Exchange Index

LR

Likelihood ratio

M&As

Mergers and acquisitions

ROAA

Return on Average Assets

th.

Thousand

USD

US dollars

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Mateos de Cabo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ricardo Gimeno
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • María J. Nieto
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidad CEU San PabloMadridSpain
  2. 2.CUNEF (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)MadridSpain
  3. 3.Banco de EspañaMadridSpain
  4. 4.Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE)MadridSpain

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