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African-American Diversity in the Boardrooms of the US Fortune 500: director presence, expertise and committee membership


  • Craig A. Peterson
  • James Philpot

    (Missouri State University)

  • K. C. O'Shaughnessy

    (Western Michigan University)


This study examines participation of African-Americans on the boards and board committees of the US Fortune 500. Prior work suggests the use of committee assignment to discern active versus figurehead involvement on boards. We use a logistic regression model that controls for director traits, firm characteristics and director resource-dependence roles to compare the odds that a black director will be assigned to key committees to those for a white director. We find that black directors are more (less) likely than whites to sit on audit and public affairs (executive) committees. Black female directors are more likely than both white females and black males to serve on finance committees. Thus there is some evidence that race plays a role in determining assignment to corporate board committees. Copyright (c) 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig A. Peterson & James Philpot & K. C. O'Shaughnessy, 2007. "African-American Diversity in the Boardrooms of the US Fortune 500: director presence, expertise and committee membership," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 558-575, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:15:y:2007:i:4:p:558-575

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    Cited by:

    1. Heather R. Dixon-Fowler & Alan E. Ellstrand & Jonathan L. Johnson, 2017. "The Role of Board Environmental Committees in Corporate Environmental Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 423-438, February.
    2. García-Meca, Emma & García-Sánchez, Isabel-María & Martínez-Ferrero, Jennifer, 2015. "Board diversity and its effects on bank performance: An international analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 202-214.

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