Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

2021

Advisor

Mary-Hunter McDonnell

Abstract

This study examines the impact of the #MeToo movement on gender-related shareholder proposals. #MeToo was first introduced by Tarana Burke in 2006 as a way to unite female victims of sexual assault. The movement officially took off in October 2017 following the Harvey Weinstein scandals and had significant spillover effects on shifting the legal and corporate culture; states began adopting policies to curb workplace sexual assault and placing quotas on companies to have a minimum number of females directors to be on their boards. A difference-in-differences regression analysis was used to determine if #MeToo also had any effects at raising shareholder support for gender-related proposals. The results show a very slight increase of 2.38% in the percent of votes in support for these proposals, although this estimate is insignificant. Even though #MeToo had no significant impact on gender-related shareholder activism, the level of support for social proposals did increase as a whole after the movement, which is an encouraging trend in the broader space of social activism.

Keywords

shareholder activism, #metoo, gender, diversity, sexual harassment, corporate governance

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Date Posted:11 August 2021

 

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