The Glass Pyramid: Informal Gender Status Hierarchy on Boards
Markóczy, L., Sun, S.L., Zhu, J., 2021. The glass pyramid: Informal gender status hierarchy on boards. Journal of Business Ethics 168 (4), 827-845.
20 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2019 Last revised: 22 Oct 2021
Date Written: July 7, 2019
Drawing on the status characteristic theory, we investigate the effect of gender on board directors’ status ranking and find that all else being equal, female directors’ status ranking is 81.48% of one position lower than that of male directors, a discrepancy that is attributable to gender. We theorize on the mechanism that determines the ways in which the status value of gender on a board affects board interactions and predict how this mechanism influences firm outcomes, including excessive managerial spending, social responsibility performance, and firm risk. We test our hypotheses in Chinese firms using an unbalanced panel that includes 5,396 firm-year observations (86,019 director-year observations) for a period of six years and find them supported.
Keywords: Women on boards, gender category-based status beliefs, informal status structure of boards, firm outcomes
JEL Classification: G30
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