Women board members as a diversity tool for enhancing corporate governance and stakeholder value.

Sifile Obert, Suppiah Susela Devi K., Muranda Zororo, Chavunduka Desderio


The continued failure of companies mainly with the majority of male board members prompted this research to establish the importance of board heterogeneity, the role of women board members, their characteristics and how their board presence can be utilised for improving corporate governance and stakeholder value.  This study derives from board composition which dictates that directors of substance should populate boards.  The debate on the utility value of women on boards was investigated using an interpretive enquiry.  Document review coupled with a semi-structured interview was administered to forty-two (42) respondents.  Purposive and snowball sampling were used to select respondents.  Results of the research showed that women are thinly populated in boards yet they are risk averse, prepare for meetings diligently, are objective, have integrity and are protective of the organisation.  The research recommends that bursaries and scholarships should be availed to women and girls so that they get chances to go through all levels of education and end up as managers, a step towards board membership.  The government of Zimbabwe should make sure that steps are taken to enforce the 50:50 principle in management and that to cascade to boards.  There should be advocacy for the need to infuse women leadership in all walks of life.

Key words: Corporate Governance, Board Diversity, Women on Boards, NVivo, qualitative and Stakeholder Satisfaction.

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