Journal of Management & Governance

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 595–615

Women on corporate boards: key influencers or tokens?


DOI: 10.1007/s10997-010-9165-y

Cite this article as:
Elstad, B. & Ladegard, G. J Manag Gov (2012) 16: 595. doi:10.1007/s10997-010-9165-y


This paper investigates how the increasing ratio of women directors on corporate boards is associated with decision-making dynamics, specifically the perceived participation and influence of the women on the board. We test hypotheses using a sample of 458 women on Norwegian corporate boards where the ratio of women directors among board members ranges from 11 to 100%. Overall, we find that women perceive that they have a high level of information sharing, a low level of self-censorship, and a high level of influence across the different ratios of board membership held by women directors. These results support the notion of women directors as significant influencers. However, the results also show that women directors perceive that they do receive more information and engage in more informal social interaction when the ratio increases, and perceived influence does also increase when the ratio increases.


Corporate governanceWomen on corporate boardsGender diversityTokenismBoard dynamics

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oslo University CollegeOsloNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian University of Life SciencesAsNorway