A Diversity Perspective
Edited by Mine Karataş-Ozkan, Katerina Nicolopoulou and Mustafa F Özbilgin
Chapter 6: Women directors and CSR: evidence from corporate social disclosure of French companies
The present chapter investigates the existence of a correlation between the feminization of corporate boards of organizations and the development of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. More precisely, the research explores the link between the feminization of six French organizations’ corporate boards in 2009 and the maturity of their CSR policies, evaluated according to three dimensions: governance and associated decision-making processes; sustainable development; and diversity management. This chapter relies on the 2009 CSR reports of the sample companies and mobilizes a quantitative investigation methodology based on keyword occurrences and data processing. As a means for inter-institutional communication, the social reports must be analysed as instruments by which organizations manage to either acquire or restore their cognitive legitimacy (Suchman, 1995). Although they can be viewed as marketing and image-making tools celebrating a priori the vision of the firms and their commitment to stakeholders and society, they also record the deployment of strategic CSR policies and their implementation through operational programmes. Thus the social reports analysis may reveal the maturity level of companies’ CSR policies (discursive commitment, programmes, processes and prescribed practices) adopting a diversity management (DM) and social responsibility perspective. This chapter contributes to the literature by addressing the correlation among women on corporate boards (WOCB) and the modernization and transparency of decision-making processes in corporate boards, in addition to the company’s sustainable development commitment, as well as the development of equality, diversity and inclusion policies.
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