Pioneering Women on Boards: Pathways of the First Female Directors

9 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2013

See all articles by David F. Larcker

David F. Larcker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Date Written: September 03, 2013

Abstract

There is considerable interest in increasing the representation of women on the boards of publicly traded corporations. Currently, only 17 percent of independent directors in the United States are women.

In this Closer Look, we examine the pathways that women took to become the first female directors of Fortune 250 companies. We examine their biographies and professional experiences, and compare these experiences to the backgrounds of female directors today.

We ask:

* How have the pathways for women to get on corporate boards changed? * Did the first female directors have to be substantially better than their male peers in order to stand out? * Are the opportunities and obstacles today the same or different?

Topics, Issues and Controversies in Corporate Governance and Leadership: The Closer Look series is a collection of short case studies through which we explore topics, issues, and controversies in corporate governance. In each study, we take a targeted look at a specific issue that is relevant to the current debate on governance and explain why it is so important. Larcker and Tayan are co-authors of the book "Corporate Governance Matters", and "A Real Look at Real World Corporate Governance."

Keywords: women on boards, diversity, board of directors, corporate boards, board diversity, corporate governance, gender, women, directors

JEL Classification: G30, J15, J16, K22, L21, M10

Suggested Citation

Larcker, David F. and Tayan, Brian, Pioneering Women on Boards: Pathways of the First Female Directors (September 03, 2013). Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Closer Look Series: Topics, Issues and Controversies in Corporate Governance and Leadership No. CGRP-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2325026

David F. Larcker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Graduate School of Business
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-725-6159 (Phone)

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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