Mind the (Gender Pay) Gap: The role of Board Gender Composition

Gender Pay Gap
Board of directors
Pay transparency

Galanakis, Y. and Gosling, A., “Mind the (Gender Pay) Gap: The role of Board Gender Composition”


King’s College London

Amanda Gosling

University of Kent


January 2024


February 2024


This paper explores the role of board gender composition on pay-related outcomes in the UK. Using administrative data from firms with at least 250 employees since 2017/18, we employ a method based on Bartik (1991). Our approach relies on the regional aggregation of the share of female directors which we assume to be exogenous to firm-level wage determination. The findings reveal that a more gender-diverse board can reduce the pay gap by over 3%, as female directors are associated with better outcomes for other female employees. This effect is more pronounced in higher productivity firms, which often exhibit a higher Gender Pay Gap due to female under-representation and within-firm inequalities. When looking jointly at the board nationality and gender composition, gender is significant for any outcome in company boards where more than 51% of directors are UK nationals.

Draft paper

Draft manuscript available upon request.

Back to top