"Sex and talk in the boardroom: A structural topic modeling analysis of whether and how men and women directors contribute different perspectives"
Strategy & Business Policy
Speaker: Richard Haans
Assistant Professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
HEC Campus - Jouy-En-Josas - Buil. T - Room 004
The abstract :
This paper tests the central, yet untested, assumption in board gender research that male and female directors bring different perspectives to their boards. Using unique data containing 62,228 director statements from board meetings of Dutch water management organizations, we apply structural topic modeling to disentangle the unique topics that men and women bring to the table—accounting for potential confounders at the individual-, meeting-, and organization-level. Our results show that female directors distinctly focus on the adequate control and execution of policy and processes, while men focus on controlling the decisions of top management that have repercussions for central outcomes for the organization’s future. By validating and delving deeper into an important assumption that drives a range of initiatives seeking to stimulate the number of women in top leadership positions, we offer novel understanding of how gender shapes the functioning of boards of directors and offer insights for policy and practice.