May 2013, IFC
In January 2013, International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched a research project entitledWomen on Corporate Boards in Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia and Serbia. The purpose of the project was to gather information on the representation of women on
corporate boards and to learn about the determinants of female board membership in these countries. Which skills and knowledge do women need to possess to become a member of aboard? Do women’s decision-making and leadership styles differ from those of their male
counterparts? Are there are any impediments for women aspiring to board membership?
And what useful lessons can be learned to inform policy?
Why this project and why now? There are several reasons for interest in this topic:
– Gender inequalities are still observed in many areas of public and private life throughout the world. Although globalization has closed some important gender gaps, statistics show that women are still at a disadvantage and that significant gender disparities still remain, in particular in the labor market. Gender equality in all areas of life is important because it means full equality of opportunity for every member of society. Today, equality would mean demonstrating that women, who represent on average 51% of each society on the planet, on entering the labor market, are not being institutionally disadvantaged in their careers, and that they are not ‘dropping out’ at more senior levels in disproportionate numbers due to obstacles they face simply because they are women. Continue reading…