The symbolic management of women on company boards: Evidence using the UK Davies Review

Ian Gregory-Smith, Brian G. M. Main*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The paper tests for the presence of the symbolic management of women board directors. The data are based on companies in the UK FTSE All-Share index between 1996 and 2017. Our sample experiences a sharp increase in the number of women board directors after a major reform in 2011, known as the Davies Review. While the Davies Review has triggered a rise in the number of women in non-executive director positions, these women continue to experience a disproportionate exit rate around nine-years of tenure. This is a symbolically significant moment because at nine years directors are no longer considered 'independent' under the UK Governance Code. Notwithstanding the progress made following the Davies Review, the evidence presented here supports the view that women often serve on company boards for symbolic rather than substantive motives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Early online date1 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • symbolic management
  • women directors
  • corporate governance

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