Corporate Leadership and Inherited Beliefs about Gender Roles

47 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018 Last revised: 28 Dec 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); Independent

Date Written: December 27, 2020

Abstract

Some U.S. firms have women directors and executives, while many do not. We seek to explain this heterogeneity. Using U.S. Census data from 1900, we find that firms in regions with populations originating from countries with more gender-egalitarian beliefs have more women executives and directors, and more women chairing important board committees. These same regions also have more women in the labor market and in STEM occupations, and lower gender-pay gaps. Our findings show that regional differences in beliefs about gender roles are persistent and have significant impacts on corporate leadership and the labor market.

Keywords: gender gap; women executives; women board members; regional culture

JEL Classification: G30, J16, J70, Z1

Suggested Citation

McLean, R. David and Pirinsky, Christo Angelov and Zhao, Mengxin and Zhao, Mengxin, Corporate Leadership and Inherited Beliefs about Gender Roles (December 27, 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

Independent

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