Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Does Gender Matter?

Management Science, Forthcoming

Posted: 18 Oct 2011

See all articles by Renee B. Adams

Renee B. Adams

University of Oxford; ABFER

Patricia Funk

University of Lugano

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 15, 2011


A large literature documents that women are different from men in their choices and preferences, but little is known about gender differences in the boardroom. If women must be like men to break the glass ceiling, we might expect gender differences to disappear among directors. Using a large survey of directors, we show that female and male directors differ systematically in their core values and risk attitudes, but in ways that differ from gender differences in the general population. These results are robust to controlling for differences in observable characteristics. Consistent with findings for the population, female directors are more benevolent and universally concerned, but less power-oriented than male directors. However, in contrast to findings for the population, they are less tradition- and security-oriented than their male counterparts. They are also more risk-loving than male directors. Thus, having a woman on the board need not lead to more risk-averse decision-making.

Keywords: Female Directors, Directors, Gender, Boards, Values, Risk

JEL Classification: J16, G30

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B. and Funk, Patricia, Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Does Gender Matter? (August 15, 2011). Management Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Renée B. Adams (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain


BIZ 2 Storey 4, 04-05
1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592

Patricia Funk

University of Lugano ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, TN Ticino 6900

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics