In my work on the evolution of corporate capitalism, I have highlighted the rise of women shareholders in the nineteenth century. However, it is only in recent decades that we see the rise of women directors. Norway, for example, has a law which requires firms to have a certain proportion of women on their boards. The UK government is presently considering a quota system for British firms - click here for more on this story.
Does the presence of women directors have an effect on firm performance? There is some research on this question which would suggest that women directors have a positive effect - click here and here. A more fundamental question, however, is whether the presence of women on boards will lower the extremely high remuneration of corporate executives?
There is a broadcast on Radio 4 this evening, which discusses the growth in executive pay over the past three decades - click here for summary.