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For the few not the many? The effects of affirmative action on presence, prominence, and social capital of women directors in Norway

Cathrine Seierstad and Tore Opsahl

Scandinavian Journal of Management, 2011, vol. 27, issue 1, 44-54

Abstract: Summary Governments have implemented various affirmative action policies to address vertical sex segregation in organizations. A gender representation law was introduced in Norway, which required public limited companies' boards to have at least 40% representation of each sex by 2008. This law acted as an external shock, and this paper aims to explore its effects. In particular, it explores the gender bias, the emergence and sex of prominent directors, and directors' social capital. We utilize data from May 2002 to August 2009 to analyze these aspects. The implied intention of the law was to create a larger pool of women acting as directors on boards, and the law has had the effect of increasing the representation of women on boards. However, it has also created a small elite of women directors who rank among the top on a number of proxies of influence.

Keywords: Affirmative; action; Board; of; directors; Norway; Prominence; Social; capital; Women; Gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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