Implicit gender quota in European boardrooms

We test for implicit gender quotas in the boardroom. We use novel dataset covering 11 million European corporations over three decades. We find that -- accounting for the pool of available candidates -- gender-blind hiring of women to board positions is highly improbable. Implicit quotas refer to unspoken policies or practices that result in a specific gender composition. Tokenism is one such example: in order to project the reputation of supporting diversity, an organization may prefer to invite a single representative of minority (or representatives of minorities) without endowing them with actual decision power.

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