Corporate boards have been male bastions until very recently and women have been very few and difficult to track. In Italy, this has given rise to growing debates that eventually led to the introduction of mandatory gender quotas for listed companies and state-participated (LP) companies in 2011. This paper addresses this topic by investigating the presence of women among the directors of the top 250 Italian joint-stock companies in four benchmark years spanning from 1983 to 2017. In 1983, women were still nearly absent from Italian corporate boards and their number showed a sizeable increase only in the 21st century, especially after the introduction of mandatory gender quotas. This paper shows that quotas not only increased female presence on boards of LP companies, that were directly affected by this regulation, but also produced some indirect “positive spillover effects”, i.e., a higher proportion of women on boards of non-LP firms, even if the latter were not required to comply with this law. The paper also shows the precocious role of cooperatives in prompting the entry of Italian women in boardrooms. Moral suasion by umbrella organisations – especially the left-wing Legacoop – played a paramount role in this respect and acted as sort of “substitution factor” for the law. Legacoop recommended affiliated coops to appoint more women on boards even before the enactment of the 2011 law for LP companies: this recommendation soon became a good practice adopted by an increasing number of coops. Lastly, the paper shows how the massive increase in seats held by women led to a professionalization of female directors in Italy, even though women are still largely excluded from top executive positions.

Rinaldi, A. e G., Tagliazucchi. "Women as an (un)tapped resource for Italy's corporate boards, 1983-2017" Working paper, 2022.

Women as an (un)tapped resource for Italy's corporate boards, 1983-2017

Rinaldi, A.
;
Tagliazucchi, G.
2022

Abstract

Corporate boards have been male bastions until very recently and women have been very few and difficult to track. In Italy, this has given rise to growing debates that eventually led to the introduction of mandatory gender quotas for listed companies and state-participated (LP) companies in 2011. This paper addresses this topic by investigating the presence of women among the directors of the top 250 Italian joint-stock companies in four benchmark years spanning from 1983 to 2017. In 1983, women were still nearly absent from Italian corporate boards and their number showed a sizeable increase only in the 21st century, especially after the introduction of mandatory gender quotas. This paper shows that quotas not only increased female presence on boards of LP companies, that were directly affected by this regulation, but also produced some indirect “positive spillover effects”, i.e., a higher proportion of women on boards of non-LP firms, even if the latter were not required to comply with this law. The paper also shows the precocious role of cooperatives in prompting the entry of Italian women in boardrooms. Moral suasion by umbrella organisations – especially the left-wing Legacoop – played a paramount role in this respect and acted as sort of “substitution factor” for the law. Legacoop recommended affiliated coops to appoint more women on boards even before the enactment of the 2011 law for LP companies: this recommendation soon became a good practice adopted by an increasing number of coops. Lastly, the paper shows how the massive increase in seats held by women led to a professionalization of female directors in Italy, even though women are still largely excluded from top executive positions.
Luglio
https://www.wehc2022/org/program-details/women-on-corporate-boards-incorporating-history-into-the-study-of-gender-inequality/Rinaldi_Tagliazucchi_2002_1.pdf
Paper presented at the XIX World Economic History Congress, Paris, 25-29 July 2022
Rinaldi, A.; Tagliazucchi, G.
Rinaldi, A. e G., Tagliazucchi. "Women as an (un)tapped resource for Italy's corporate boards, 1983-2017" Working paper, 2022.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1285567
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