Ancestral Beliefs about Gender Roles and Women in Corporate Leadership

45 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018 Last revised: 10 Jun 2020

See all articles by R. David McLean

R. David McLean

Georgetown University - Department of Finance

Christo A. Pirinsky

University of Central Florida

Mengxin Zhao

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Date Written: June 9, 2020

Abstract

In U.S. counties where more of the population or their ancestors immigrated from countries with more gender-egalitarian beliefs, firms are 20% more likely to have a female director, and almost twice as likely to have a female CEO. In such counties, female directors are also more likely to chair a board committee, sit on more boards, and have larger networks. Counties with more gender-egalitarian roots have both more women and lower gender-pay gaps in STEM occupations. Our findings show that ancestral beliefs about gender roles and immigration patterns impacted the prevalence of women in corporate leadership and STEM.

Keywords: gender gap; women executives; women board members

JEL Classification: G30, J16, J70, Z1

Suggested Citation

McLean, R. David and Pirinsky, Christo Angelov and Zhao, Mengxin, Ancestral Beliefs about Gender Roles and Women in Corporate Leadership (June 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3266169 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3266169

R. David McLean (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Finance ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC Washington DC 20057
United States

Christo Angelov Pirinsky

University of Central Florida ( email )

College of Business Administration/Finance
PO Box 161400
Orlando, FL FL 32816
United States
407-823-5962 (Phone)

Mengxin Zhao

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ( email )

450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20549-1105
United States

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