Do gender-based board quotas lead to a higher share of women in top management positions?

Affirmative Action and Intersectionality in South Africa: A new GLO Discussion Paper finds supporting evidence that affirmative action has induced sizable increases of women in top management positions in South Africa.

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GLO Discussion Paper No. 467, 2020

Affirmative Action and Intersectionality at the Top: Evidence from South Africa Download PDF
Klasen, Stephan & Minasyan, Anna

GLO Fellow Anna Minasyan

Author Abstract: Gender-based board quotas do not always lead to higher share of women in top management positions. We study the consequences of an affirmative action policy that stipulates gender- and race-based targets in top management positions, beyond boards. We focus on the representation of intersectional group identities, such as race and gender, at the top. We find sizable increase in the likelihood of Black women employment in top positions in the post-policy period relative to Black men, White women and White men in South Africa. We extend our analysis and estimate policy spillovers for years of schooling, earnings gaps and self-employment.

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.


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