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Sex composition of corporate boards and corporate philanthropy

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This article examines the relationship between the sex composition of boards of directors and corporate philanthropy in a sample of large British corporations. The article hypothesises that having women on boards of directors will be positively related to corporate philanthropy. Bivariate analyses confirm the hypothesis for all women executives, non-executive directors and female chief executives but with the significant exception of other board executives. In multivariate analyses controlling for economic and sociological variables measuring cosmopolitanism, much of the positive effect of female chief executives and non-executives disappears while the negative effect of other female executives is strengthened. The article concludes that there is qualified evidence in support of the hypothesis that a female presence is positively associated with corporate philanthropy, although the sex effect is mediated by the position women occupy in board hierarchies. The article's findings are consistent with the idea that elites' discretionary behaviour varies with their social characteristics.
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Keywords: CORPORATE BOARDS; CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY; COSMOPOLITANISM; SEX DIFFERENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: London South Bank University, UK [email protected] ac. uk 2: Singapore Management University [email protected] edu 3: London South Bank University, UK [email protected] ac. uk

Publication date: November 2014

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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