The Downturn of Gender Diversity on Boards in Hungary

  • Beáta Nagy
  • Henriett Primecz
  • Péter Munkácsi


Hungary, similarly to other post-socialist countries, does not regulate the gender diversity of companies, and this leads to women’s serious underrepresentation on corporate boards. The historical aversion to central regulation of social matters derives from the legacy of forced emancipation in the socialist period. This chapter discusses the contradictory impact of forced emancipation in Hungary and the limited probability of introducing legal regulations regarding gender diversity. It gives a thorough overview of present legal regulations, contains statistical data on gender representation on company boards and also includes an expert interview on the possible solutions to increase women’s participation. The research findings show that the socialist state prioritised women’s emancipation, many institutions were established to facilitate women’s full-time labour force participation and the figure of female managers was well-known. However, socialism lost its positive connotations in public discourse shortly after the system change, and delegitimised the issues connected to gender equality in political and policy fields. Consequently, the unsupportive social environment and the conservative turn in the Hungarian gender culture have not encouraged any changes in the legal framework. Moreover, the expert interviewee questions the importance and utility of legal regulations. At present, the most influential way to spread gender equality remains the internationalisation of companies: EU-driven policy and legal frames and multinational companies might promote gender equality in management and on corporate boards.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beáta Nagy
    • 1
  • Henriett Primecz
    • 2
  • Péter Munkácsi
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Sociology and Social PolicyCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Institute of ManagementCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Hungarian Ministry of JusticeBudapestHungary

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