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June 21, 2023

Cluster-Seminar Public Finances and Living Conditions

Gender differences and stereotypes in media coverage of company board members


June 21, 2023
11:00 bis 12:00 Uhr


Joan Robinson Room
DIW Berlin
Room 3.3.002a
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


Virginia Sondergeld
Women continue to be underrepresented in leadership positions in the corporate sector such as on company boards. One of the reasons for this underrepresentation are gender stereotypes on the skill distribution, social and occupational roles, personality traits, and how they affect labor market decision making. Media plays an important role in transporting gender stereotypes. In this paper we provide first descriptive evidence on gender differences and stereotypes in newspaper coverage of company board members in Germany using quantitative text analysis. In line with gender stereotypes and traditional roles we find articles on women board members to contain less agentic and more communal language than those on men and contain more family-related terms. We investigate persistence of these findings over time and their interaction with policies targeting board gender diversity.