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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gender Quotas at the Global Level: Toward Parity Governance?

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Just back from two phenomenal sessions at the stunning villas of the European University Institute in Florence: Gender Quotas at the Global Level: Towards Parity Governance?  This was the first set of meetings I’ve attended that focused exclusively on quotas for sex inequality.  The United States, which roundly rejects quotas from right and left (as I argued here) is increasingly an outlier on this front among developed and developing democracies. For political representation quotas, this is clearly true, with over eighty countries having quotas, and increasingly true for corporate board quotas, where Norway led the way with its forty percent floor for any sex. Several European countries have followed and the European Parliament endorsed them as our quota conversations were taking place this past week.

The session had two parts – first, a policy seminar in which experts from academia, management consulting, NGOs, the UN and the EU joined in a frank conversation about the opportunities and risks in such quotas.  The second “executive training” part involved a series of two-hour sessions in which we instructors focused on our work to a broad range of consulting executives and doctoral students.  I explored conclusions from my work in which I interviewed men and women board members from almost a third of the top French corporations.  In my paper, Sex Regimes and Corporate Governance, which I presented earlier this fall at Utah and Hofstra, and will present at AALS, I argue that women’s presence will not shift corporate governance substantially – instead, the newness of women on boards matters more than their sex.   Tomorrow, I will post a few remaining questions for debate among the Prawfs crowd.

Thanks to Ruth Rubio Marin and Eléonore Lépinard for organizing this amazing set of conversations!   

 

Posted by Darren Rosenblum on November 24, 2013 at 08:20 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Can you say more about what these quotas are and how they work? For example, what is a "political representation quota," which you say 80 countries have? Is that a quota on the gender ratio of candidates per party, or a quota on who may be allowed to take office, or something else? And do thee quotas work both ways, so that if the people vote for all women, some of the women are not permitted to take office because there needs to be a % of men in office, too?

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Nov 24, 2013 12:55:22 PM

Can you say more about what these quotas are and how they work? For example, what is a "political representation quota," which you say 80 countries have? Is that a quota on the gender ratio of candidates per party, or a quota on who may be allowed to take office, or something else? And do thee quotas work both ways, so that if the people vote for all women, some of the women are not permitted to take office because there needs to be a % of men in office, too?

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Nov 24, 2013 12:55:22 PM

Orin- Thanks for that question. Please check out quotaproject.org, which explains everything about these quotas. Basically, many of them bind political parties to having a certain percentage of candidates based on sex. Many of the quotas are structured not as floors for women but rather as a gender-neutral floor for any sex.

EUI was extraordinarily generous in covering all the expenses related to the events.

Posted by: Darren Rosenblum | Nov 26, 2013 12:00:15 PM

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