Women Do the Job: The Reasons to Set Quota for Women on Boards

  •  Sara De Masi    
  •  Agnieszka Słomka-Gołębiowska    
  •  Andrea Paci    


In 2012 Italy introduced quota to increase the number of women on corporate boards. The aim of our research is to shed more lights on how women on boards, after the enforcement of quota law, improve the board functions and the board structure. Our study focuses on all Italian FTSE MIB companies from 2008 to 2015. Italy is a country where the percentage of female directors was very low before quota. Female directors, when present, were linked through a family connection to the controlling shareholder. Our research demonstrates that a higher percentage of women on boards, after the quota, leads to a higher board members attendance and more board meetings, thus a better board monitoring. We document that, after quota, one more women to the board results in increasing the board involvement in strategy and the independence of audit committee. Our findings provide empirical support on the effectiveness of female directors, suggesting important implications of the quota legislation on the “type” of women elected.

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