Corporate Social Responsibility and Gender Diversity in the Workplace: Evidence from Japan

Takao Kato, Naomi Kodama

    Research output: Working paperResearch


    Using panel data on corporate social responsibility (CSR) matched with corporate proxy statement data for a large and representative sample of 1,492 publicly-traded firms in Japan over 2006-2014, we provide rigorous econometric evidence on the effects of CSR on gender diversity in the workplace. Our fixed effect estimates point to positive and significant effects on gender diversity of CSR, yet the effects are felt only after two to three years. Such CSR effects are found to be larger and more significant for firms that adhere more closely to the traditional Japanese management model with employee stakeholder salience, which is mostly consistent with an influential theory of CSR--the theory of stakeholder salience. The magnitude of the effects is neither trivial nor implausibly large. For those firms that adhere closely to the participatory model, one standard deviation increase in our summary CSR score, after three years, will result in 0.8 more female college graduate hires from its mean of 17.5; 1.7 more female managers from its mean of 26.2; and 0.16 more female directors from its mean of 1.69. Finally, the positive and significant CSR effects on gender diversity are found to be robust to the inclusion of controls capturing the possible effects of various work-life balance (WLB) practices on gender diversity, pointing to the direct impact of CSR on gender diversity rather than the CSR effects mediated by WLB. In designing and revising various public policies to achieve their current key policy goal of advancement of women in the labor market, Japanese policy makers may want to pay more attention to a potentially important role that CSR plays in gender diversity in the workplace in general and the heterogeneity of the CSR effects and their considerable gestation period in particular.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationTokyo
    Number of pages36
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    SeriesRIETI Discussion Paper Series


    • Gender diversity
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Human resource management
    • Japan

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