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Published in: Asian Journal of Business Ethics 1/2022

22-05-2022

Gender-inclusive corporate boards and business performance in Pakistan

Authors: Syeda Hoor-Ul-Ain, Khalid M. Iraqi

Published in: Asian Journal of Business Ethics | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

This study examines the significance of gender-inclusive corporate boards for improving business performance in Pakistan and addresses the social paradox of gender quotas for reducing gender disparities in boardrooms. The conceptual review of all-inclusive literature focuses on assembling descriptive outlines of the evidence explored; analyzing and evaluating it; sieving out inapt studies; and furnishing an aperçu of the authentic evidence. Pakistan’s case for boardroom’s gender diversity merits consideration in the context of kinship, competence, business ethics, and meritocracy. With the legal and regulatory push in the form of the Companies Act, 2017 and SECP’s regulation, companies in Pakistan are liable to induct at least one woman director on corporate boards. The literature portrays the legislative measures as controversial and presented polarized opinions on gender quotas, either in favor or in against the legislations. The research evinces that the overall women representation in the listed companies at KSE-100 index was 7.55% in August 2019 which rose to 11% till March 2020. The paper contributes towards exposing the social paradox of gender-inclusive boardrooms in Pakistan. The findings indicate an urgent need for the implementation of gender parity social reforms to empower competent women with their legal rights to enjoy the stature they deserve.
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Footnotes
1
A glass ceiling is a metaphor used to represent an invisible barrier that keeps high-achieving women from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.
 
2
Planet 50–50 is all about “gender equality and women empowerment.”.
 
3
Social fabric is the glue which holds a society together. It is the bond which people share, that can help to form an economically and intellectually mature, a culturally rich, and socially cohesive community.
 
4
The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks several countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.
 
5
International Labour Organization (ILO) defines the concept of “gender mainstreaming as the necessity to ensure gender equality ……… social and economic development” (source: http://​www.​ilo.​org/​public/​english/​bureau/​gender/​newsite2002/​about/​defin.​htm).
 
6
Social paradox: the word paradox has its roots in Greek language where “para” means opposition and “doxa” means belief, credence, or opinion. A paradox is an idea or a thought/concept that refutes a commonly accepted idea, on purpose. The terminology was explained by Keenan in 1987. Pava defines social paradox in 1981 as “a pervasive, continuing dilemma between incompatible yet interdependent activities or variables (i.e., between regulators and the regulated). A social paradox forms a ‘wicked’ class of challenges that cannot be finally solved. At best they are resolved, repeatedly.”.
 
7
International Labour Organization (ILO) defines the concept of “gender mainstreaming as the necessity to ensure gender equality ……………… of social and economic development” (source: http://​www.​ilo.​org/​public/​english/​bureau/​gender/​newsite2002/​about/​defin.​htm).
 
9
Academic and grey/popular literature: academic literature is an intellectual contribution of the research scholars or experts such as Ph.Ds. in the field of research in academic journals whereas popular literature includes news/evidence(s) published in the newspapers and/or research reports published by various organizations that do not fall under academic publishing and distribution channels.
 
11
Reason of including KSE 100 index: the remaining data of the other two indices would not be useful as the listed companies do not have any woman on board; therefore, it was excluded. The information was received from the Joint Director (CIW)—Ms. Saima Ahrar at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.
 
12
Misogynistic approach: according to a renowned sociologist Allan G. Johnson, “misogyny is a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female.” Johnson argues that: misogyny …. is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies.
 
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Metadata
Title
Gender-inclusive corporate boards and business performance in Pakistan
Authors
Syeda Hoor-Ul-Ain
Khalid M. Iraqi
Publication date
22-05-2022
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Asian Journal of Business Ethics / Issue 1/2022
Print ISSN: 2210-6723
Electronic ISSN: 2210-6731
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s13520-022-00147-0

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