Sex composition of corporate boards and corporate philanthropy

Matthew Bond, Nicholas Harrigan, Patrick Slaughter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the relationship between the sex composition of boards of directors and corporate philanthropy in a sample of large British corporations. The article hypothesises that having women on boards of directors will be positively related to corporate philanthropy. Bivariate analyses confirm the hypothesis for all women executives, non-executive directors and female chief executives but with the significant exception of other board executives. In multivariate analyses controlling for economic and sociological variables measuring cosmopolitanism, much of the positive effect of female chief executives and non-executives disappears while the negative effect of other female executives is strengthened. The article concludes that there is qualified evidence in support of the hypothesis that a female presence is positively associated with corporate philanthropy, although the sex effect is mediated by the position women occupy in board hierarchies. The article's findings are consistent with the idea that elites' discretionary behaviour varies with their social characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-380
Number of pages20
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • corporate philanthropy
  • sex difference
  • corporate boards
  • cosmopolitanism


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