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Cultural values and gender equity on National Olympic Committee boards / Na Young Ahn, George B. Cunningham

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Cunningham, George B. | Young Ahn, Na

Women are under-represented in leadership positions throughout sport, and researchers have largely explored organizational, group, and individual antecedents of this phenomenon. The purpose of the current study was to expand on this understanding by investigating the influence of a country’s cultural values on the representation of women on National Olympic Committees. Drawing from Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, the authors included five cultural values: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism, masculinity-femininity, and long-term orientation. Results indicate that women constituted only 19.7 percent of the positions on the boards. Regression analysis, controlling for size of the Olympics program in the country, indicate that cultural values accounted for 41.8 percent of the variance in board gender diversity. Countries with lower power distance, lower masculinity, and lower uncertainty avoidance all had a higher proportion of women on the board. The authors discuss practical and theoretical implications.

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