Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Does Gender Matter?
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.
Volume (Year): 58 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
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