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Surge Under Threat: The Rapid Increase of Women on Swedish Boards of Directors
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Sociologiska institutionen, Lunds universitet.
2012 (English)In: Women on Corporate Boards and in Elite Management: European Trends and Policy / [ed] Fagan, C., González Menéndez, M. & Gómez Ansón, S., Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 91-108 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We investigate how the representation of women in boards of Swedish firms publicly traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange has changed since the late 1980s. Between 1990 and 2005 the share of firms with at least one woman on the board of directors increased dramatically, from ten percent to around 75 percent. During the same period the total share of women in boards has increased from two percent to 19 percent. We discuss the role of some actors and institutions relevant to this development, and analyze some consequences of it. Political threats of quota legislation seem to be the main cause of the surge. We show that following the threat of a quota, the hasty recruitment of women to boards implied that the recruitment processes of men and women became more different from each other, and also that the recruitment of women to some extent was cosmetic, that women were recruited to boards as figureheads. The Swedish case of rapidly increasing female corporate board representation following the quota threats illustrates the influence of political actors and institutions on economic life; just talk about legal institutional change appears to have induced a dramatic change in the practice of privately owned firms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 91-108 p.
, Work and Welfare in Europe
National Category
Economics and Business Gender Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80966ISI: 000309983800006ISBN: 978-0-230-30773-5OAI: diva2:558594

Book DOI: 10.1057/9780230307735

Available from: 2012-10-04 Created: 2012-10-04 Last updated: 2013-10-07Bibliographically approved

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