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Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Does Gender Matter?

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  • Renée B. Adams

    ()
    (Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia)

  • Patricia Funk

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, 08005 Barcelona, Spain)

Abstract

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. This paper was accepted by Brad Barber, Teck Ho, and Terrance Odean, special issue editors.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 58 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 219-235

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:2:p:219-235

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Keywords: directors; gender; boards; values; risk;

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  1. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  3. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance In Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074, August.
  4. Lise Vesterlund, 2008. "How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," Working Papers 342, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2008.
  5. Adams, Ren辿e B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2008. "Women in the Boardroom and Their Impact on Governance and Performance," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-7, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Dollar, David & Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2001. "Are women really the "fairer" sex? Corruption and women in government," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 423-429, December.
  8. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
  9. Muriel Niederle & Carmit Segal & Lise Vesterlund, 2013. "How Costly Is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, May.
  10. David Fritzsche & E. Oz, 2007. "Personal Values’ Influence on the Ethical Dimension of Decision Making," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 335-343, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Allen N. Berger & Thomas Kick & Klaus Schaeck, 2012. "Executive Board Composition and Bank Risk Taking," Working Papers 12004, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  2. Jeroen Nieboer, 2013. "Risk taking in diverse groups: Gender matters," Discussion Papers 2013-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Magda Bianco & Angela Ciavarella & Rossella Signoretti, 2013. "Women on corporate boards in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 174, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. Di Giuli, Alberta & Kostovetsky, Leonard, 2014. "Are red or blue companies more likely to go green? Politics and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 158-180.
  5. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2014. "Gender differences in competition and sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 64-80.
  6. Carlo Drago & Francesco Millo & Roberto Ricciuti & Paolo Satella, 2011. "The Role of Women in the Italian Network of Boards of Directors, 2003-2010," Working Papers 10/2011, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  7. Cindy Truong, Yan Wendy Wu, 2014. "Female Bank Executives: Impact on Performance and Risk Taking Substitutes?," LCERPA Working Papers wm0067, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis.
  8. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011074 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Miklós Antal & Ardjan Gazheli & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability Transitions," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 3, WWWforEurope.
  10. Hogarth, Robin M. & Karelaia, Natalia & Trujillo, Carlos Andrés, 2012. "When should I quit? Gender differences in exiting competitions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 136-150.
  11. Geiler, P.H.M., 2012. "Essays on executive remuneration contracting: Managerial power, corporate payout, and gender discrimination," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5590842, Tilburg University.

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