Portfolio Allocation of Slovak Ministers from the Gender Perspective
(Rozdelenie slovenských ministerských úradov z rodového hľadiska)
Politické vedy, Volume 24, Number 4/2021, pages 104-131
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
HUDÁČKOVÁ, S. – MALOVÁ, D. Portfolio Allocation of Slovak Ministers from the Gender Perspective. In Politické Vedy. Vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 104-131. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2021.24.4.104-131
Research on gender in executives has been intensified in recent years. However, in Slovakia, there was a research gap in this topic. This paper is a longitudinal case study, where we tested existing theories and empirical findings about women’s representation in the cabinet. More specifically, we examined women’s portfolio allocation on the party level. Our findings are based on an original dataset covering 33 parties in 9 governments. Consistent with theoretical expectations, our findings show that career paths leading to executive nomination of Slovak ministers differ based on gender. Women in Slovakia are systematically denied the opportunity to become cabinet ministers. Women’s ministerial careers are limited by the gendered identity of Slovak portfolios – based on an expert survey conducted for the purpose of this study we found that 10 out of 16 Slovak portfolios are masculine and women had a lower chance than men to receive an appointment there. The left-right ideology of political parties played an important role in ministerial representation of women in Slovakia – leftist parties nominated women more often. However, leftist parties might nominate women more often not only from ideological reasons but also because their governments were less fragmented. Surprisingly, we have found that Slovak female ministers do not hold less salient portfolios than male ministers, the contrary. Their frequent nomination to neutral portfolios with relatively high salience – Justice Ministry and Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Family – causes this unexpected outcome that contradicts findings in the CEE region, Europe, and even worldwide.
Key words: gender, descriptive representation, government, political parties, portfolio allocation