BOOK SYNOPSIS: The lack of gender parity in the governance of business corporations has ignited a heated global debate leading policymakers to wrestle with difficult questions that lie at the intersection of market activity and social identity politics. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with corporate board directors in Norway and documentary content analysis of corporate securities filings in the United States, Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity empirically investigates two distinct regulatory models designed to address diversity in the boardroom: quotas and disclosure. The author's study of the Norwegian quota model demonstrates the important role diversity can play in enhancing the quality of corporate governance, while also revealing the challenges diversity mandates pose. His analysis of the U.S. regime shows how a disclosure model has led corporations to establish a vocabulary of "diversity." At the same time, the analysis highlights the downsides of affording firms too much discretion in defining that concept. This book deepens ongoing policy conversations and offers new insights into the role law can play in reshaping the gendered dynamics of corporate governance cultures.
BIOGRAPHY: Aaron A. Dhir is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and is currently the 2017 Justin D’Atri Visiting Professor of Law, Business, and Society at Columbia Law School. His research and teaching focus on corporate law, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility. He has previously served as a Visiting Professor at Yale and Stanford Law Schools, and as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, the University of Oxford, Berkeley Law School, and University College London. Professor Dhir is the author of the recent book Challenging Boardroom Homogeneity: Corporate Law, Governance, and Diversity, published by Cambridge University Press. Academic reviewers have described this book as a “path-breaking study”, “brilliant”, “powerful”, “a crucial book”, and as providing “rarely seen access to boardroom interactions”. Professor Dhir’s research findings have received significant media attention, including coverage by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, Newsweek, ThinkProgress, The Seattle Times, The Hartford Courant, TheStreet, El Mercurio (Chile), The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, The Financial Post, Lexpert Magazine, and CBC Radio-Canada. Professor Dhir has participated as an invited expert in some of the most significant policy reform initiatives in his areas of expertise, including those convened by the Government of Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission, and the former United Nations Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. He is a recipient of the Osgoode Hall Legal & Literary Society’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Osgoode Hall Faculty Teaching Award, and the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto’s Young Lawyer of the Year Award. He was recognized by Lexpert Magazine in 2011 as one of Canada’s leading lawyers under 40.
Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics & Board Effectiveness
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