Gender Diversity in the FTSE 100: The Business Case Claim Explored

Mark McCann, Sally Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the debate within corporate governance about the
appointment of female non-executive directors (NEDs). The first part
tracks the diversity story that corporate governance tells about itself from
the Cadbury Report (1992) to the Davies Report (2011). The second sets
out the evidence used to support the argument that female appointments
enhance profits and corporate profile. The third part presents the
authors' empirical analysis of FTSE 100 companies and female non-
executive board membership, and concludes that there is little evidence
that companies with female board membership display different charac-
teristics from those without. Industry sector emerges as a significant
factor in female appointments. The idea that women should be appointed
to boards to increase corporate profitability and profile is not strongly
supported by this analysis.A social justice argument based upon the right
of woman to equal economic participation opportunities provides a much
superior articulation of the need for boardroom diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-574
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Issue number4
Early online date15 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science


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