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AbstractEquality between men and women is one of the founding principles and values of the European Union. Yet, women continue to be under-represented in boards and top management teams of companies. In 2014, only 20% of the board members of the top public listed companies in the EU28 countries were women. The picture is similar in the South/East European countries of Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia, with little or no change in the recent past. This gender imbalance in the highest decision-making teams in companies is not only a social but also an economic concern. Our data, and that from elsewhere, show that improving gender balance in boards and top management teams improves board dynamics and leads to better governance, strengthens stakeholder relations and CSR, and ultimately reflects in improved company performance. Promoting gender balance is therefore as much a matter for competitiveness of companies as it is for social justice. The barriers that exist are complex and multi-faceted, ranging from deeply ingrained social norms, to individuals’ attitudes and behaviours, to gender-biased organisational cultures and practices. Based on the evidence from surveys, interviews and good practice case studies, we put forward five recommendations for how companies can improve gender balance in their top decision-making teams.
PublisherNarodna in Univerzitetna Knijznica
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