Keywords: corporate governance, gender balance amongst corporate directors, female leadership, gender quotas in Italian corporate law.
legislatures and European institutions increasingly pay attention to the improvement of gender
balance among administrative and supervisory bodies of companies and it is a more and
more common opinion that female participation in corporate direction could favourably contribute
to entrepreneurial activity. This stance has already inspired several statutes setting
aside (in some cases temporarily) a certain percentage of total available boardroom positions
of listed companies and publicly owned corporations for candidates from the less-represented
gender, in order to start a process of participation at decision-making that - it is to be hoped
- will be followed spontaneously. The following essay exposes and interprets Italian law concerning
gender equality on company boards, taking account of the latest European initiatives
and rules and regulations passed by other countries on the same matter, and seeing it from the
point of view of the intellectual movement in which arguments and beliefs, that are grounded
in these rules and regulations, have developed.