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

66 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016 Last revised: 27 Oct 2018

See all articles by Laura Casares Field

Laura Casares Field

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics

Matthew Souther

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Finance

Adam S. Yore

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Finance

Date Written: October 19, 2018

Abstract

This paper examines board leadership roles for diverse (female and minority) directors. Although diverse board representation has been increasing, we find that diverse directors are significantly less likely to serve as board chairman, lead director, or audit or compensation committee chair, even though they possess stronger professional qualifications than non-diverse directors. We find no evidence that diverse directors are less effective: they receive higher shareholder support in elections, and board monitoring quality for boards with diverse leaders is at least as strong as for non-diverse leaders. Results suggest that failing to obtain board leadership leads to attrition of diverse directors.

Keywords: chairman of the board, board committees, director compensation, boards of directors, diversity, gender, women, minorities

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 19, 2018). 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 Missouri at Columbia - Department of Finance ( email )

Trulaske College of Business
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
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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