Female Leadership and Gender Gap within Firms

28 August 2018

FBK-IRVAPP is pleased to invite you to the following seminar:
​​“Female Leadership and Gender Gap within Firms”

With the participation of: Agata Maida

Language: The seminar is held in English.

Abstract: Over the last decade, many countries have followed the Norwegian example and introduced laws mandating gender quota for corporate board membership. The main aim of these laws is breaking the “glass ceiling” which prevents women from advancing into top parts of the earnings distribution. In this paper, we evaluate the Italian law of 2011, which installed a step-wise increase in gender quota that are in place for three consecutive board renewals of listed limited liability forms. We link firm-level information on board membership and board renewal dates with detailed employment and earnings records from the Social Security registers. Exploiting the staggered introduction of the gender quota and variation in board renewals across firms, we evaluate the effect of the board gender composition on measures of gender gaps in the workforce over a period of 4 years. While the reform substantially raised the female membership on corporate boards, we find only very small and non-robust effects on female employment, the share of females in higher parts of the firm wage distribution, or the share of female part-time workers.  Our results thus resemble the findings of Bertrand et al. (2018) who study the introduction of a gender quota for board members in Norway. Given that Italy is a much more unequal society than Norway, with a larger scope of establishing gender equality, our results confirm that board quota are an ineffective policy at least in the short run. It remains to be seen if the temporary nature of these policies will make any change in the career prospects of women.