Searching for Women on Boards: An Analysis from the Supply and Demand Perspective
15 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016
Date Written: May 2016
Manuscript Type. Review.
Research Question/Issue. This paper seeks to provide a systematic review of the multidisciplinary theoretical approaches to women on boards in order to understand the factors that hinder and facilitate the access of women to boards, to show the instruments that can be used to promote women to senior corporate positions, and to outline a research agenda suggesting gaps that still need to be filled.
Research Finding/Results. Women's access to boards appears to be fragmented in research silos from a variety of areas, lacking a comprehensive view that provides instruments to overcome the barriers hindering the access of women to corporate boards. More in particular, this paper has found very little scientific analysis to understand what instruments can be the most efficient in eliminating barriers for women to reach boardrooms given different cultural environments.
Theoretical Implications. This paper aims to create a comprehensive framework for understanding the presence of women on boards and for indicating existing gaps to be filled by new research in the future. This framework will help future researchers in analyzing specific instruments and to measure their efficiency in eliminating gender imbalance. Depending on the approach taken for research, the theoretical backgrounds used vary. While on the supply side the predominant theories are gender role theory, gender self‐schema, and work–family conflict, the demand side is based on gender discrimination, human and social capital theory, resource dependence theory, and institutional environment theory.
Practical Implications. This research provides suggestions to typify causes and provide nuanced policy tools to promote women into leadership positions. Future lines of research are proposed to fill the gaps in understanding female representation in top management positions.
Keywords: Corporate Governance, Demand Side, Literature Review, Supply Side, Women on Boards
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation