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The Media Impact of Board Member Appointments in Spanish-Listed Companies: A Gender Perspective

Abstract

Recent corporate governance literature on gender diversity within boards has linked the effect of an increase in gender diversity to the firm’s corporate reputation. This paper analyzes the media impact of appointing new directors of Spanish companies at a particularly significant moment, during the period from 2007 to 2010, just a year before and 3 years after the Gender Equality Act was passed. By analyzing female and male board nominations in Spanish IBEX-35 companies, the paper examines whether appointing a female does have greater visibility than appointing a male, and thus a potential signaling effect for corporate stakeholders and an effect on the firm’s reputation. Results indicate that the effect on press visibility of appointing a female versus a male is negligible, although there is significant media visibility for new executive directors, in particular for the case of the only woman nominated as an executive director during the period. The paper contributes to the existing literature on gender diversity in corporate governance, specifically its effect on corporate reputation. The paper also offers information relevant to policy making and in particular to the current debate over quotas for women on boards.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The IBEX-35 is a capitalization weighted index comprising the 35 most liquid Spanish stocks traded in the Spanish continuous market. It is the official reference index for the four Spanish stock markets of the Spanish stock market interconnection system.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank C. Galdón, S. Carmona, J. De Castro, M. Alonso and the anonymous referees for helpful comments and discussions. Support from IE Business School is also gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Patricia Gabaldon.

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de Anca, C., Gabaldon, P. The Media Impact of Board Member Appointments in Spanish-Listed Companies: A Gender Perspective. J Bus Ethics 122, 425–438 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1768-1

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Keywords

  • Females on boards
  • Organizational legitimacy
  • Corporate reputation
  • Media impact
  • Gender quotas
  • Signaling theory