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Explaining women's presence on corporate boards: The institutionalization of progressive gender-related policies


  • Thams, Yannick
  • Bendell, Bari L.
  • Terjesen, Siri


We draw on a phenomenological model of institutional theory to explore how sub-national policies shape corporate board gender diversity of publicly traded firms. Using a sample of S&P 1500 firms in 49 U.S. states from 2003 to 2014, we find that firms headquartered in states with progressive policies that protect women from discrimination and provide greater availability of emergency contraception and public funding for abortions have greater shares of women directors in their board of directors. Our findings hold after a series of robustness checks and offer implications for theory, policy, and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Thams, Yannick & Bendell, Bari L. & Terjesen, Siri, 2018. "Explaining women's presence on corporate boards: The institutionalization of progressive gender-related policies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 130-140.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:130-140
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.01.043

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    References listed on IDEAS

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