Women on Boards in Finance and STEM Industries

7 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2015 Last revised: 11 Jan 2016

See all articles by Renee B. Adams

Renee B. Adams

University of Oxford; ABFER

Tom Kirchmaier

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance; Copenhagen Business School

Date Written: October 7, 2015


We document that women are less represented on corporate boards in Finance and more traditional STEM industry sectors. Even after controlling for differences in firm and country characteristics, average diversity in these sectors is 24% lower than the mean. Our findings suggest that well-documented gender differences in STEM university enrolments and occupations have long-term consequences for female business leadership. The leadership gap in Finance and STEM may be difficult to eliminate using blanket boardroom diversity policies. Diversity policies are also likely to have a different impact on firms in these sectors than in non-STEM sectors.

Keywords: Corporate Boards, Gender participation, STEM

JEL Classification: J16, J22, G34, G38

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B. and Kirchmaier, Tom, Women on Boards in Finance and STEM Industries (October 7, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2670565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2670565

Renée B. Adams

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain


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Tom Kirchmaier (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 6854 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/tomkirchmaier/home

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Porcelænshaven 24A, 3rd floor

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