Supply and Demand Side Determinants of Board Gender Imbalance: The U.S. Evidence

66 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020

See all articles by Patricia Boyallian

Patricia Boyallian

Lancaster University - Department of Accounting and Finance

Sudipto Dasgupta

Chinese University of Hong Kong and CEPR

Swarnodeep HomRoy

University of Groningen

Date Written: December 14, 2019

Abstract

Women are heavily underrepresented in U.S. boardrooms at a time when many countries are introducing policies such as gender quotas to achieve greater gender balance in boards. To understand why, we examine how successful women are, relative to men, in finding a second board appointment after an initial appointment. We find that women do better than comparable men in terms of the quality, likelihood, and speed of the second appointment. Examining first appointments, we find that women who obtain board seats generally have significantly less leadership and work experience in quoted firms than men, but (after controlling for observable attributes) are appointed at larger firms. Our findings are consistent with the under-representation of women being more a consequence of supply-side factors: in particular, a lack of opportunities for women to rise up the corporate ladder so that only a small number of exceptionally capable women manage to be on the radar of nomination committees. We find little evidence that boards engage in either taste-based or statistical discrimination against women.

Keywords: Board Diversity, Board Gender Balance, Gender Quota, Taste-Based Discrimination, Statistical Discrimination

JEL Classification: G34, J16, G38, J31

Suggested Citation

Boyallian, Patricia and Dasgupta, Sudipto and HomRoy, Swarnodeep, Supply and Demand Side Determinants of Board Gender Imbalance: The U.S. Evidence (December 14, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3519048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3519048

Patricia Boyallian

Lancaster University - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

The Management School
Lancaster LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Sudipto Dasgupta

Chinese University of Hong Kong and CEPR ( email )

CUHK, Cheng Yu Tung Building, Room 1224
Shatin, NT
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Swarnodeep HomRoy (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

Nettlebosje 2
Department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance
Groningen, Groningen 9747 AE
Netherlands

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