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Publication: ‘Diversity, Merit and Power in the C-Suite’ by Dr Eleanore Hickman

18 May 2023

Hart Publishing has published a new book by the Law School’s Dr Eleanore Hickman. ‘Diversity, Merit and Power in the C-Suite’ offers an in-depth assessment of the meaning of corporate power - and an essential consideration of how a more balanced distribution of power in the boardroom could and should be advanced.

‘Diversity, Merit and Power in the C-Suite’ (Hart 2023) explores the correlations of diversity and power in UK boardrooms and the difficulties inherent in truly merit-based appointments.

From a distance, boardroom diversity is seen as a UK success story of recent years. A closer look at boardrooms reveals a more uncomfortable truth: boards can be split into tracks of power and diversity. Where there is a concentration in power, genuine diversity is much less prevalent. 
Using the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index (FTSE 100), Dr Hickman’s book examines the appointment and retention of the most powerful positions in some of the world's most powerful corporations.

Diversity, merit and power are each defined and measured individually, then considered cumulatively, to provide fresh insights into the meaning of corporate power, who wields it and how it is obtained.

‘Diversity, Merit and Power in the C-Suite’ considers this analysis alongside the diversity narratives created by the FTSE 100. From this framing of the FTSE 100’s position on diversity, the value of corporate 'diversity speak' is challenged, together with the regulatory requirements that result in its production.

“As boardrooms are looking more diverse than they were 20 years ago, you would be forgiven for thinking that the problems of ‘pale, male and stale’ corporate boards were a thing of the past. I hope this book will encourage a fresh look at the truth of corporate power and the way it is perpetuated, and reignite the challenge to the status quo.” - Dr Eleanore Hickman

Find out more about the publication on the Hart Publishing website.

Book Launch

The book launch will be held at 5 PM on 22 June 2023, both online and in-person at the University of Bristol Law School. Find out more about the book launch on our event page.

Further information

Dr Eleanore Hickman is Lecturer in Law at the University of Bristol Law School and co-director of the school’s Centre for Private and Commercial Law. Eleanore’s research interests focus on the governance of corporations and financial institutions. Prior to joining Bristol, Eleanore was a research associate at the University of Cambridge and a practising solicitor.

The Centre for Private and Commercial Law (CPCL) is an international centre of excellence for critical scholarship, teaching and public engagement with private and commercial law, bringing together world-class scholars working in the fields of private and commercial law, promoting doctrinal, collaborative, socio-legal and inter-disciplinary approaches.

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