How Gender Diversity at Law Firms is Driven By Competition for Business
A new study of John Mawdsley and Rodolphe Durand of HEC Paris, and Lionel Paolella of the University of Cambridge, indicates that for U.S. law firms, efforts to increase gender diversity aren’t only motivated by a desire for fairness, but instead are driven by the need to take clients away from rival firms. The authors show that when women are increasingly represented in the senior ranks of clients of rivals, law firms strategically boost their own gender diversity to align with the diversity values of those clients. However, when increasing gender diversity is less likely to be successful for taking those clients, law firms reduce their gender diversity efforts in their organization.
Gender Difference on Crowdfunding Platforms: What Pitches Work?
On prosocial crowdfunding platforms such as Kiva, which benefit low-income entrepreneurs, women-led campaigns tend to be significantly more successful than men's. To find out which specific gender dynamics explained this difference, HEC Paris professor Santosh B. Srinivas sought to sort out gender differences in the justifications for funding requests entrepreneurs made on the site.
The Uncertain Promise of Human Rights in Sports: Understanding the Caster Semenya Case
For the 32nd Olympic Games, one of South Africa’s modern icons, 800-meter champion Caster Semenya, will not be making the trip northwards. She has been barred from the Tokyo Olympics where she had hoped to defend a crown she won in 2012 and 2016. We discuss with Professor Matteo Winkler the legal, sociological and ethical implications of the Caster Mokgadi Semenya v. IAAF (now World Athletics) case. World Athletics’ regulations target female athletes like Semenya who are born with naturally high levels of testosterone, a characteristic that was labelled first as “hyperandrogenism” and then as “difference of sexual development”. Winkler and fellow academic, Doctor Giovanna Gilleri from the European University Institute published a 40-page study deconstructing the narratives surrounding the case and reflecting on the relationship between the law of sports, politics, gender and bodies – and the West’s sometimes uncomfortable position on femininity in the Global South.
Why Anti-Discrimination Laws Are Not Enough to Ensure Inclusiveness
The EU has a comprehensive legal framework to combat discrimination. But where exactly does the letter of the law lie and how can corporations make their businesses truly inclusive? HEC Paris professor Matteo Winkler suggests going above and beyond the law to make workplaces genuinely diverse.
Unintended Consequences: When Minority Directors Get a “Pass” in Cases of Fraud
Companies are increasingly facing societal pressure to diversify their boards. However, these well-intended measures may have unforeseen consequences, a new study finds. Because of a perceived shortage of minority candidates, fraud-tainted minority directors — unlike their non-minority counterparts — enjoy some immunity from negative reputational consequences.
How Brands Can Fight Gender Stereotypes in Ads
Men and women value a product differently depending on whether it has a male or female brand representation — think Mr. Clean or Betty Crocker. Specifically, female-identified brands are less appealing to male shoppers. But researchers have found a relatively simple way to combat this gender bias.
“A $%^* Sexist Program”: Detecting and Addressing AI Bias
A major issue facing companies that use AI, algorithmic bias can perpetuate social inequalities — as well as pose legal and reputational risks to the companies in question. New research at HEC Paris offers a statistical method of tracking down and eliminating unfairness.
Why So Few Women Occupy the Most Lucrative Jobs
Though women have made inroads into traditionally male-dominated sectors, gender gaps still exist in the most influential and best-paid jobs. Two authors looked beyond discriminatory hiring practices and women’s “self-selection” out of applying for highly desired jobs — and find explanations at the heart of corporate culture.