Board Characteristics and the Presence of Women on the Board of Directors: The Case of the Greek Shipping Sector
Shipping is a vital sector of the Greek economy. According to the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (2013), more than 52 % of the shipping companies listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ) are owned by Greek nationals. Current demands for transparency in the decision making of the shipping firms, led boards to take various initiatives so as to comply with international regulations. This article attempts to discuss the findings of the Hellenic Observatory of Corporate Governance (HOCG) about the Board Characteristics (CEO duality, Board size, Independent Directors, cross directorships, tenure, age and gender) of the Greek-owned public shipping companies which are listed in foreign Stock Exchanges for the period 2001–2012. Special emphasis is given on the presence of Women on the Board of Directors. Possible reasons why women’s access to board seats has been limited are discussed, and some practical suggestions to the Shipping owners to consider adding qualified women to the board are presented.