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Gender Quota inside the Boardroom: Female Directors as New Key Players?

Antoine Reberioux and Gwenael Roudaut

No 1603, CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) from CEPREMAP

Abstract: This paper examines whether women's situation within French boards has improved following the adoption of a board-level gender quota in 2011. To do so, we focus on the individual role of female directors as proxied by their fees. Our sample includes the listed companies belonging to the SBF120 index over the 2006-2014 period. We first show that the quota has succeeded in opening the doors of boardrooms to new, unseasoned female directors (not present on the director labor market before the regulation). These unseasoned female directors have distinctive characteristics (in terms of independence, experience, age, nationality, etc.) as compared to other board members. More importantly, we show that women, whether unseasoned or seasoned, experience an inner glass ceiling, with "positional" gender segregation within French boards. In particular, companies have failed so far to open the access of the most important board committees (namely monitoring committees: audit, compensation and nomination) to women. It results in within-firm gender fees gap of 5%. Overall, the quota has rather amplified this segregation process, with an increase in the average within-firm gender fees gap.

Keywords: board; gender quota; segregation; director fees (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2016-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-eur and nep-pke
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