European Women on Boards and Corporate Sustainability

  • Francesca GennariEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


The promotion of gender balance in corporate boards is one of the tools in support of gender diversity in society as a whole. Data by EU Commission show a low, although increasing, representation of women on boards. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of this situation, according to a managerial approach devoted to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability goals of the UN 2030 Agenda. We carry out a descriptive analysis that supplements the existing public information about women on board with a secondary source of data, which contains information about boards of listed and unlisted European companies over a consistent period (2000–2016). We aim to read together different aspects concerning the presence of European women on boards, supporting the concept that a higher participation of women in top positions primarily depends on the corporate culture that goes beyond legal compliance. In the face of its limits, this work contributes to the existing literature about gender diversity and CSR in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda’s goals, highlighting the role that women on boards can have for a more sustainable world and encouraging the debate about first corporate jobs and career paths. Furthermore, this paper explores future lines of research into the selection procedures of board members and the creation of a more inclusive working environment, according to a more sustainable business approach by companies.


Women on board Corporate culture Corporate social responsibility 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

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