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Diversity and inclusion in Italian banks: an empirical analysis of measures to support gender diversity on the board of directors

Diana Capone ()
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Diana Capone: Bank of Italy

No 552, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: Two kinds of measures aimed at fostering gender diversity are applied in Italian banks: non-prescriptive measures set by supervisory rules, and binding measures set by the law on listed companies. This study analyses the effects of these measures on the composition of banks’ boards, between 2014 and 2018, comparing listed banks and unlisted banks. The analysis provides a complete picture of the impact of quotas for listed banks, by integrating supervisory information on all members of banks’ boards, gathered by the Bank of Italy, with additional information on board members’ backgrounds collected from their CVs, and with information on the structure and functioning of boards collected from the reports on corporate governance. In particular, the analysis shows that, between 2014 and 2018, the increase in the number of women on banks’ boards was associated with the enhanced independence and competence of female directors and with their stronger involvement in the work of the boards. Furthermore, the analysis shows that these improvements have had a positive impact on those board characteristics that the scientific literature and the Bank of Italy consider to be key for the effectiveness of the board in fulfilling its mandate. In terms of policy decisions, the results of the analysis suggest that the existing measures need to be strengthened for unlisted banks.

Keywords: banking; corporate governance; board effectiveness; gender diversity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 G28 M14 K23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-03
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