Which Drivers Affect the Presence of Women Directors on Corporate Boards? Evidence from Italian Medium-Sized Family Firms

  • Francesca Maria Cesaroni
  • Annalisa SentutiEmail author
  • Denisse Chamochumbi Diaz
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


This article aims to shed light on the involvement of women who play governance roles in family businesses. For this purpose, we present the results of empirical research carried out on a sample of 233 Italian medium-sized family businesses, analysed from 2007 to 2014. Our analysis has a twofold objective: (1) understand how the presence of women on the boards of medium-sized family firms has evolved in recent years; (2) investigate factors that can influence the presence of women on the boards of these companies. To achieve this goal, we first conducted a descriptive analysis to understand better whether and how the involvement of women in governance roles had changed over time. Then we carried out a regression analysis to explore whether and how firms’ governance characteristics can influence the involvement of women on the boards of directors. This paper contributes to enriching studies on women in family businesses by focusing on women’s involvement in governance roles. While previous empirical research mainly refers to large and listed firms, we focused on medium-sized family businesses, which are playing a central role in many economies. In addition, our study increases the extant literature on this topic by considering specific firms’ governance attributes. In fact, we posit that the female participation on the board of directors could be influenced by family involvement in ownership, the generational stage in control and the age of the board members.


Family business Governance Women Board of directors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Maria Cesaroni
    • 1
  • Annalisa Sentuti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Denisse Chamochumbi Diaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics, Society and PoliticsUniversity of Urbino Carlo BoUrbinoItaly

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