Gender Diversity in the Boardroom: The Multiple Approaches Beyond Quota Regulations

  • Patricia Gabaldon
  • Heike Mensi-Klarbach
  • Cathrine Seierstad


The aim of this chapter is to discuss and make sense of similarities and differences with regards to the situations and approaches to increase the share of women on boards within the eight European countries presented in this volume: UK, Portugal, Slovenia, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Hungary. The countries have not, to date, introduced quota laws for corporate boards, which are in many debates and other countries perceived as a unique tool to increase gender diversity on boards. What is evident is that a wide range of enabling/hindering forces, including the corporate governance structures, traditions, actors, and history of equality initiatives have led to significant variations in terms of approaches taken to increase the share of women on boards in the respective countries.

In this chapter, we provide a holistic and comparative analysis of similarities and differences within the eight countries and by doing so aim to provide a better understanding of the women on board context and the use of strategies in the countries discussed. We argue that different enabling and/or hindering forces, the historical development, the overall gender equality discourse, but also the corporate governance system influenced the specific country’s approach to the women on board debates. This chapter also presents the key findings and lessons learned from this edited volume, comments on the international spread of the European women on board focus and indicates important areas for further research.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Gabaldon
    • 1
  • Heike Mensi-Klarbach
    • 2
  • Cathrine Seierstad
    • 3
  1. 1.IE Business SchoolIE UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  3. 3.School of Business and ManagementQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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