We analyze the impact of language-based gender distinctions within languages’ grammatical structures on women’s corporate presence. Using four different data sets, we find that countries where the dominant language marks gender more intensely have significantly lower female participation on boards of directors and in senior management, as well as smaller female-led corporate teams. We also find that the gender marking of the language used in the headquarters’ home country impacts female presence on the subsidiary boards of multinational companies, independently of gender marking in the language of the host country. Our findings suggest that linguistic gender marking offers a superior alternative to the commonly used aggregate values-based measures of culture, and that its research usage should be expanded accordingly. Link to the article
SANTACREU VASUT, E., SHENKAR, O. and SHOHAM, A. (2014). Linguistic gender marking and its international business ramifications. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(9), pp. 1170-1178.