Networks, homogeneity and gender in Icelandic business elites. By: Einarsdottir, Thorgerdur; Rafnsdottir, Gudbjorg Linda; Sigurdardottir, Margret Sigrun; Torfason, Magnus Thor. Scandinavian Journal of Management. Mar2020, Vol. 36 Issue 1.

  • We examine elite residential homogeneity, as a proxy for general uniformity of the elite.
  • Local social activities predict increased elite residential homogeneity.
  • This relationship is stronger for women than for men.
  • Local social activities may foster a shared identity, especially for women.

This paper examines business elites in the context of social networks, identity and residential homogeneity. Our focus is gender diversity in business elites and how social activities conducive to networking interact with residential homogeneity. We find that the greater the involvement of top managers in local social activities, the greater the residential homogeneity. This relationship is stronger for women than for men, even though the individual measures are similar for both genders. We suggest that local social activities may foster a shared identity that is especially important for women, as they lack a shared gender identity with men in the group. The paper adds to both theoretical and practical knowledge on the lack diversity in business elites.