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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
August 1, 2014
 
 
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Gendered Interactions in Corporate Annual Report Photographs


Merridee Bujaki and Bruce J. McConomy

published: 2010 | Research publication | Refereed Journals - Accounting

Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the gendered nature of interactions in mixed sex
Canadian corporate annual report (CAR) photographs.

Design/methodology/approach Quantitative content analysis of 106 CAR photographs is
performed to evaluate, at the level of the photograph, how women and men interact in mixed sex
photographs to reveal their relative prominence, power and status.

Findings Women in CAR photographs overall are under-represented. In mixed sex photographs,
however, the relative proportions of women and men approximate those of women in the Canadian
workforce, but men are more prominent in most photographs. Mixed sex photographs are relatively
similar in composition (depicting largely passive, smiling subjects, few of whom are talking or in
positions of authority). Where there are differences in mixed sex photographs, however, women are
portrayed as less powerful than the men in the photographs. Supplemental testing suggests that the
findings are persisting over time.

Originality/value This paper looks at gendered interactions in CAR photos in a Canadian context.
It takes the photograph, rather than individual subjects in the photo, as the level of analysis. This
research clearly situates the inclusion of photographs in CARs in the voluntary disclosure literature
and explores the implications for management and readers of CARs.

Gender in Management: An International Journal, Volume 25, Issue 2, 2010, pp. 119 136.

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revised Sep 21/10

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