The gender gap: what about board members' perspective? By: Khemakhem, Hanen and Maalej, Manel. 2024. Journal of Management & Governance. Vol. 28 Issue 2, p483-506.

The gender gap in the boardroom has received a great deal of attention in the literature. However, little is known about what causes the gender gap in the boardroom, especially from board members’ perspective. This paper aims to produce a deeper understanding of the gender gap, based on evidence from 29 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with board members. Our study reveals that the best ways to access a board position are through networks and job positions. However, for most participants, being a board member is still
perceived as a male-dominated position. Due to this perception, female board members can experience lower self-efficacy at first, questioning their abilities to join the board. Our study reveals several ways to act on the gender gap in the boardroom. Seeing female role models on the board, having a positive experience as board members and receiving effective training can all enhance women’s self-efficacy. Also, leaders who are in favor of having women on the board, organizational policies, and mandatory quotas of women on the board can contribute to reducing the gender gap. Our study provides a deeper understanding of the challenges facing women when accessing a top role such as a board position. Our findings can help policy-makers and organizations act on the gender gap in the boardroom.