Women in the Boardroom and Cultural Beliefs about Gender Roles

51 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018 Last revised: 3 Nov 2018

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: October 9, 2018

Abstract

We ask whether regional attitudes towards gender roles impact the prevalence of women in corporate leadership. Previous studies show that cross-country differences in gender attitudes are highly persistent and have pre-industrial origins. We find that countries with more gender-egalitarian attitudes have more women on corporate boards. These effects persist through immigration. U.S. firms located in counties with greater portions of their populations originating from gender-egalitarian countries have more women on corporate boards, more women in leadership roles on boards, and more female executives. The effects of culture extend beyond corporate leadership, as greater gender-egalitarianism is associated with high female labor participation, lower gender pay gaps, and greater female participation in STEM jobs.

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, Women in the Boardroom and Cultural Beliefs about Gender Roles (October 9, 2018). 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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