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Beyond the glass ceiling: does gender matter?

Adams, Renée B. and Funk, Patricia (2012) Beyond the glass ceiling: does gender matter? Management Science, 58 (2). pp. 219-235. ISSN 0025-1909

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Identification Number: 10.1287/mnsc.1110.1452


A large literature documents that women are different from men in their choices and preferences, but little is known about gender differences in the boardroom. If women must be like men to break the glass ceiling, we might expect gender differences to disappear among directors. Using a large survey of directors, we show that female and male directors differ systematically in their core values and risk attitudes, but in ways that differ from gender differences in the general population. These results are robust to controlling for differences in observable characteristics. Consistent with findings for the population, female directors are more benevolent and universally concerned but less power oriented than male directors. However, in contrast to findings for the population, they are less tradition and security oriented than their male counterparts. They are also more risk loving than male directors. Thus, having a woman on the board need not lead to more risk-averse decision making.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 INFORMS
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 12:24
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 02:27
Projects: SNSF Grant SEJ2007-6340/ECON
Funders: SNS Centre for Business and Policy Studies, Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Research Foundation, Spanish National Science Foundation

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