Purpose: This article’s primary purpose is to present and analyze the current state of board gender diversity and elaborate on the relatively sparse literature in this field in the Czech Republic, a post-transition Eastern European economy. The described study sought to identify and comment on the theoretical views concerning previous research in other, mainly Western European countries, by highlighting new perspectives on board gender diversity.
Design/methodology/approach: The study’s empirical analysis was based on 235 companies domiciled in the Czech Republic with 500 or more employees. We followed a selection protocol consisting of several filters in arriving at our final sample. We initially analyzed the data in relation to (a) the number of employees, (b) organization turnover, and (c) industrial classification. We calculated the mean (μ), standard deviation, (σ), and coefficient of variation (CV) of the data/variances, then tested our hypotheses through χ2, determining the significance through the p-value. Finally, we calculated the board diversity index (DI) for female/male board members.
Findings: Our findings showed that the representation of women on corporate boards of Czech Republic companies is well below the European directive target figure of 40%. There is a greater representation of women on supervisory than on statutory boards. Moreover, the research revealed that female directors are more likely to serve on boards of companies in health care, social, wholesale, retail, and administration sectors compared to the construction, manufacturing, transportation, and storage sectors. Furthermore, company turnover also plays a part in board gender diversity. Finally, we highlighted many reasons why the Czech Republic is a fertile ground for the study of board gender diversity.
Practical implications: We believe this article will be valuable to senior managers in industry and wider regulatory, corporate governance, and ethical environments, fostering diversity and equality on corporate boards. This article forms a sound foundation for future studies on board gender diversity in the Czech Republic and contributes to the ongoing discussion on any adoption of possible future quota.
Originality/value: This research presents a rare insight into the current board gender diversity structure in the Czech Republic, especially because the country is relatively under-researched in the corporate governance and gender diversity literature. Thus, the research adds to the theoretical views concerning earlier research undertaken in other, mainly Western European countries, highlighting new perspectives on board gender diversity.