Achieving gender balance on British boards with the soft-law approach: Directors’ perspective

Rita Goyal, Nada Kakabadse, Andrew Kakabadse

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A soft-law approach is followed in the UK for improving gender diversity on boards. This paper explores the causes and solutions of gender homogeneity on British boards by interviewing thirty-three board members of FTSE 350 companies. Results suggest that British boards are homogeneous due to discrimination against women, a lack of confidence among women and a lack of objectivity in nomination processes. While current soft-law approach is the best-suited strategy due to established institutional processes, there is an increasing demand for more intrusive statutory action if the current approach fails to achieve gender parity, soon enough. The paper contributes to Institutional theory, public policy and corporate praxis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Specialist publicationJournal of Business Diversity
PublisherNorth American Business Press
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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  • Board Diversity
  • Soft-law approach
  • Gender balance


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