The impact of board gender diversity on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility : a case of the South African mining sector
Mashwama, Sabelo Stanley
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There is a growing pressure for companies to improve their governance systems as well as corporate social responsibility activities, in particular in the areas where they operate. At the same time, corporations have been criticised for the low level of women members in their board of directors. Studies suggests that women can provide boards with unique qualities and resources that can improve board dynamics, strategic decision-making and company performance. It is further suggested that women are generally more inclined to support corporate social responsibility projects. This is due to their different values and moral orientation therefore by having more women in the board influences the company’s performance in the non-financial area. The purpose of this study was to investigate in the impacts of board gender diversity on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility in 10-JSE listed companies. Based on the 2014 integrated reports of the selected companies, the study reveals that there is a significant impact of gender diverse board to the decision making of the company with regard to governance and corporate social responsibility. the study further found that there is a correlation between the number of board of directors in a company and the board gender diversity, this means the companies with larger boards tend to also have more women in their board, and the other extreme is that the companies with smaller number of board members have fewer or no women in their boards. These findings provide further support for Lord Davies’ recommendations that listed companies should increase the number of female board members to 25 percent by 2015. Similarly, the Mining Charter calls on mining companies to increase the number of female board members and their participation in the mining sector by 10 percent within the next 5 years. Even though critics have argued that women should be appointed to boards of directors based on moral and ethical considerations, this study suggests that gender equality on boards makes good business sense. The study further outlines that board gender diversity is not the only factor that influences the company’s contribution to corporate social responsibility, and there was no significance between women representation and corporate governance. Therefore, further research is needed to provide more information on the impact of board gender diversity on governance and corporate social responsibility and to confirm the generalisation of these findings.
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