At the Table But Can’t Break Through the Glass Ceiling: Board Leadership Positions Elude Diverse Directors

75 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016 Last revised: 7 Oct 2019

See all articles by Laura Casares Field

Laura Casares Field

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics

Matthew E. Souther

University of South Carolina - Darla Moore School of Business

Adam S. Yore

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Finance

Date Written: October 2, 2019

Abstract

We explore the labor market effects of gender and race by examining board leadership appointments. Prior studies are often limited by observing only hired candidates, whereas the boardroom provides a controlled setting where both hired and unhired candidates are observable. Although diverse (female and minority) board representation has increased, diverse directors are significantly less likely to serve in leadership positions, despite possessing stronger qualifications than non-diverse directors. While specialized skills such as prior leadership or finance experience increase the likelihood of appointment, that likelihood is reduced for diverse directors. Additional tests provide no evidence that diverse directors are less effective.

Keywords: boards of directors, diversity, gender, women, minorities, chairman of the board, board committees, director compensation, pay gap, leadership gap, under-representation, committee chair

JEL Classification: J15, J16, J31, J71, G34, M14

Suggested Citation

Field, Laura Casares and Souther, Matthew and Yore, Adam S., At the Table But Can’t Break Through the Glass Ceiling: Board Leadership Positions Elude Diverse Directors (October 2, 2019). Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming; 2nd Annual Financial Institutions, Regulation and Corporate Governance Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2810543 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2810543

Laura Casares Field

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics ( email )

419 Purnell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States
302-831-3810 (Phone)

Matthew Souther (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina - Darla Moore School of Business ( email )

1705 College St
Francis M. Hipp Building
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

Adam S. Yore

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Finance ( email )

403 Cornell Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-884-1446 (Phone)

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