Gender balance in the governance of social enterprise

Lyon, Fergus ORCID logoORCID: and Humbert, Anne L. (2012) Gender balance in the governance of social enterprise. Local Economy, 27 (8) . pp. 831-845. ISSN 0269-0942 [Article] (doi:10.1177/0269094212455158)


There are high expectations placed on social enterprises as alternative forms shaping local economies. However, little is known about how they are governed and their accountability to their local communities. The gender balance of their governing boards and representation of women is therefore an important issue. This paper makes a contribution to examining the claims of greater equality proposed by social enterprises. The results draw on an analysis of a survey of 825 social enterprises and show there is a more equal gender balance in social enterprise governance compared to the private sector. The survey also finds that women are still under-represented on boards when considered as a proportion of the population or the proportion of women’s employment in social enterprises. There is also considerable sectoral concentration and a smaller proportion of women on boards of larger organisations. Social enterprises have the potential to be alternative spaces to encourage greater representation of women in the governance of local economies, but at present there continues to be an imbalance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online before print September 11, 2012
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 10027
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Depositing User: Pamela Macaulay
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2013 08:08
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:26

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