New Zealand’s boardroom blues: time for quotas
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Abstract Gender inequality in boardrooms remains a stubbornly pervasive feature of the story of women in New Zealand. Despite benchmarking and monitoring, a flurry of initiatives and the introduction of policy panaceas such as gender diversity reporting, New Zealand languishes near the bottom of the rankings of similar developed countries by percentage of female corporate directors. This article addresses the research question of what strategies should be used to increase women’s boardroom representation. It is written from a human rights perspective and examines several underpinning theories of women’s demographic and substantive representation. New empirical data shows ‘soft’ strategies such as voluntary disclosure by listed companies is having limited impact in terms of either demographic or substantive representation. The article concludes by suggesting that potentially unpopular mandated quotas should be considered to cure the boardroom blues in New Zealand.