Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 177–196 | Cite as

Women’s Roles on U.S. Fortune 500 Boards: Director Expertise and Committee Memberships

  • Craig A. Peterson
  • James PhilpotEmail author
Article

Abstract

This study examines the presence and roles of female directors of U.S. Fortune 500 firms, focusing on committee assignments and director background. Prior work from almost two decades ago concludes that there is a systematic bias against females in assignment to top board committees. Examining a recent data set with a logistic regression model that controls for director and firm characteristics, director resource-dependence roles and interaction between director gender and director characteristics, we find that female directors are less likely than male directors to sit on executive committees and more likely than male directors to sit on public affairs committees. There is little if any evidence of systematic gender bias in director assignment to other board committees. We find some evidence that boards evaluate resource dependence differently for women than men.

Keywords

boards of directors board committees corporate governance gender issues resource dependence 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adler N. J. (1984). Women in International Management: Where Are They? California Management Review 26(4):78–89Google Scholar
  2. Anderson C. A., Anthony R. N. (1986) The New Corporate Directors: Insights for Board Members and Executives. John Wiley & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson R., Bizjak J. (2003). An Empirical Examination of the Role of the CEO and the Compensation Committee in Structuring Executive Pay. Journal of Banking and Finance 27(7):1323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anonymous (1980). The Overview Committees of the Board of Directors. Business Lawyer 35:1335–1342Google Scholar
  5. Anonymous (2004). One in Nine Corporate Directors of FP500 are Women in Latest Count. Women in Management Review 19(5/6):276Google Scholar
  6. Anonymous: 2005, ‘Getting Women on to UK Boards’, Available online at http://www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk/boardroom_diversity/index.htm
  7. Baysinger B., Butler H. (1985). Corporate Governance and the Board of Directors: Performance Effects of Changes in Board Composition. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 1:101–124Google Scholar
  8. Bergeron D. M., Block C. J., Echtenkamp A. (2006). Disabling the Able: Stereotype Threat and Women’s Work Performance. Human Performance 19(2):133–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bilimoria D. (2000). Building the Business Case for Women Corporate Directors. In: Burke R. J., Mattis M. C. (eds), Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: International Challenges and Opportunities. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp. 25–40Google Scholar
  10. Bilimoria D., Piderit S. K. (1994). Board Committee Membership: Effects of Gender-based Bias. Academy of Management Journal 37(8):1453–1477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bradshaw, P.: 1990, ‘Women in the Boardroom: Two Interpretations’, Faculty of Administrative Studies, York University, unpublished manuscriptGoogle Scholar
  12. Braiotta L. Jr., Sommer A. A. (1987). The Essential Guide to Effective Corporate Board Committees. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  13. Browder D. (1995). Shareholders are Valuing Diversity. Directors and Boards 19(3):12–15Google Scholar
  14. Burgess Z., Tharenou P. (2002). Women Board Directors: Characteristics of the Few. Journal of Business Ethics 37(1):39–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Burke R. J. (1994a). Benefits of Women on Corporate Boards of Directors as Reported by Male CEOs. Psychological Reports 75(1):329–330Google Scholar
  16. Burke R. J. (1994b). Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: Views of Canadian Chief Executive Officers. Women in Management Review 9(5):3–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Burke R. J. (1995). Personal, Educational and Career Characteristics of Canadian Women Directors. Equal Opportunities International 14(8):1–10Google Scholar
  18. Burke R. J. (1996). Why Aren’t More Women on Corporate Boards?: Views of Women Directors. Psychological Reports 79(3):840–842Google Scholar
  19. Burke R. J. (1997). Women Directors: Selection, Acceptance, and Benefits of Board Membership. Corporate Governance 7(4):374–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Burke R. J. (2000a). Company Size, Board Size and the Numbers of Women Corporate Directors. In: Burke R. J., Mattis M. C. (eds), Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: International Challenges and Opportunities. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp. 118–125Google Scholar
  21. Burke R. J. (2000b). Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: Understanding the Context. In Burke R.J., Mattis M.C. (eds), Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: International Challenges and Opportunities. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp. 179–196Google Scholar
  22. Buttner E. H., Moore D. P. (1997). Women’s Organizational Exodus to Entrepreneurship: Self-reported Motivations and Correlates with Success. Journal of Small Business Management 35(1):34–46Google Scholar
  23. Briggins A. (1998). Equity Lacking in the Boardroom. Management Review 87(2):6Google Scholar
  24. Carter D. A., Simpkins B. J., Simpson W. G. (2003). Corporate Governance, Board Diversity and Firm Value. Financial Review 38:33–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Catalyst (1995). The CEO view: Women on Corporate Boards. Catalyst, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Catalyst (2003a). Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors. Catalyst, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Catalyst (2003b). Catalyst Census of Women Board Directors in Canada. Catalyst, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Cohen J., Cohen P., West S.G., Aiken L.S., (2003). Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, 3d edn. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, Mahwah, NJGoogle Scholar
  29. Daily C. M., Certo S.T. (1999). A Decade of Corporate Women: Some Progress in the Boardroom, None in the Executive Suite. Strategic Management Journal 20(1):93–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dalton D. R., Kesner I. F. (1993). Cracks in the Glass: The Silent Competence of Women. Business Horizons 36(2):6–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Daum, J.: 1998, ‘Women on board!’, Chief Executive, October, 40–43Google Scholar
  32. Dogar R. (1997). Crony Baloney. Working Women 22(1):34–37Google Scholar
  33. Ehrhart N. L., Werbel J. D., Shrader C. B. (2003). Board of Director Diversity and Firm Financial Performance. Corporate Governance 11(2):102–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fama E., Jensen M. (1983). Separation of Ownership and Control. Journal of Law and Economics 26(2):301–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Fryxell G. E., Lerner L.D. (1989). Contrasting Corporate Profiles: Women and Minority Representation in Top Management Positions. Journal of Business Ethics 8(5):341–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Fondas N. (2000). Women on Boards of Directors: Gender Bias or Power Threat? In: Burke R. J., Mattis M. C. (eds), Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: International Challenges and Opportunities. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp. 171–177Google Scholar
  37. Fuchs D., Tamkins M. M., Heilman M. E., Wallen A. S. (2004). ‘Penalties for Success: Reactions to Women Who Succeed at Male Gendered-Typed Tasks’. Journal of Applied Psychology 89(3):416–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hager M., Rooney P., Pollak T. (2002). How Fundraising is Carried Out in US Nonprofit Organisations. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing 7(4):311–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Heilman M. E., Haynes M. C. (2005). No Credit where Credit Is Due: Attributional Rationalization of Women’s Success in Male-Female Teams. Journal of Applied Psychology 90(5):905–916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hillman A. J., Cannella A. A. Jr., Paetzold R. L. (2000). The Resource Dependence Role of Corporate Directors: Strategic Adaptation of Board Composition in Response to Environmental Change. Journal of Management Studies 37(2):235–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hillman A. J., Cannella A. A. Jr., Harris I. C. (2002). Women and Racial Minorities in the Boardroom: How do Directors Differ? Journal of Management 28(6):747–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jago A. G., Vroom V. H. (1982). Gender Differences in the Incidence and Evaluation of Participative Leader Behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology 67(6):770–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kenny R. M. (2004). Executive Committee: A Vestigial Appendage. Directors and Boards 28(4):43Google Scholar
  44. Kesner I. F. (1988). Directors’ Characteristics and Committee Membership: An Investigation of Type, Occupation, Tenure, and Gender. Academy of Management Journal 31(1):66–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Klein A. (1998). Firm Productivity and Board Committee Structure. Journal of Law and Economics 41:275–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Koretz, G.: 1997, ‘A Boardroom Gender Gap; Women Say They Get Short Shrift’, Business Week, November 24, 32Google Scholar
  47. Koretz G.: 2000, ‘Women in the Boardroom; Why Their Presence Can Be a Plus’, Business Week, September 25, 30Google Scholar
  48. Krantz, M.: 2004, ‘More Women Take CFO Roles’, USA Today, October 12Google Scholar
  49. Kuczynski S. (1999). If Diversity, then Higher Profits? HR Magazine 44(13): 66–74Google Scholar
  50. Lichtenberg, R.: 2005, ‘Now is the Time for Women to ask for a Seat at the Table’, Canadian HR Reporter, 18␣(14), August 15, 18Google Scholar
  51. Mattis M. C. (2000). Women Corporate Directors in the United States. In: Burke R.J., Mattis M.C. (eds), Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: International Challenges and Opportunities. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, pp. 43–56Google Scholar
  52. Millstein I. M. (1999) Introduction to the Report and Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees. Business Lawyer 54:1057–1096Google Scholar
  53. Mitchell L. E. (2002). Corporate Irresponsibility. Benefits Canada 26(7):23–25Google Scholar
  54. NASDAQ Corporate Governance Summary of Rules Changes, Revised November 2003. Available online at␣http://www.nasdaq.com/about/CorpGovSummary. pdf
  55. Nieva V. F., Gutek B. A. (1980). Gender Effects on Evaluation. Academy of Management Review 5(2):267–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Newman H., Mozes H. (1999). Does the Composition of the Compensation Committee Influence CEO Compensation Practices? Financial Management 28:41–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. NYSE Listed Company Manual, Section 3: Corporate Responsibility, 303A.00 Corporate Governance Standards. Revised November 3, 2003. Available online at http://www.NYSE.com/audience/listedcompanies.htmlGoogle Scholar
  58. O’Neal D., Thomas H. (1995). Director Networks/Director Selection: The Board’s Strategic Role. European Management Journal 13:79–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pfeffer J. (1973). Size, Composition, and Function of Hospital Boards of Directors: A Study of Organization—Environmental Linkage. Administrative Science Quarterly 18:349–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Pfeffer J., Salancik G. R. (1978). The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. Harper & Row. New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Pindyck, R. S. and D. L. Rubinfeld: 1991, Econometric Models and Economic Forecasts (McGraw-Hill, Inc., New␣York)Google Scholar
  62. Schwartz F. N. (1980). From the Boardroom: More Women than Meet the Eye. Harvard Business Review 58(2):6–18Google Scholar
  63. Securities and Exchange Commission: 1982, ‘Analysis of Results of 1981 Proxy Statement Disclosure Monitoring Program,’ Title 17 Code of Federal Regulations, sec. 241 (March), p. 38, in L. Braiotta Jr. and A.␣A. Sommer Jr.: 1987, The Essential Guide to Effective Corporate Board Committees (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ)Google Scholar
  64. Sethi S. P., Swanson C. L., Harrigan K. R. (1981). Women Directors on Corporate Boards. Center for Research in Business and Social Policy University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson TexasGoogle Scholar
  65. Singh V., Vinnicombe S. (2003). The 2002 Female FTSE Index and Women Directors. Women in Management Review 18 (7):349–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. SmartPros Editorial Staff, 2000: ‘Survey: Women Partners Gaining Ground at Large Firms’, available online at http://www.accountingnet.com, October 25
  67. Steane P. D., Christie M. (2001). Non-profit Boards in Australia: A Distinctive Governance Approach. Corporate Governance: An International Review 9(1):48–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Taylor, E.: 2002, ‘Family Firms Embrace Feminine Mystique – New Succession Models Take Daughters Into Account’, Wall Street Journal, March 6, B5Google Scholar
  69. Terborg J. R., Ilgen D. R. (1975). A Theoretical Approach to Gender Discrimination in Traditionally Masculine Occupations. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 13:352–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 Survey of Business Owners, July 28, 2005Google Scholar
  71. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS), ‘Degrees and Other Formal Awards Conferred’ surveys, October 2002Google Scholar
  72. Vafeos N. (2003). Further Evidence on Compensation Committee Composition as a Determinant of CEO Compensation. Managerial Finance 32(2):53–70Google Scholar
  73. Weisul, K.: 2003, ‘Make Way for Madame Director: Corporate Reform is Creating Unexpected Openings for Women in the Boardroom’, Business Week, December 22, 57Google Scholar
  74. Vafeos N. (1999). The Nature of Board Nominating Committees and Their Role in Corporate Governance. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting 26(1–2):199–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Westphal J. D., Milton L. P. (2000). How Experience and Network Ties Affect the Influence of Demographic Minorities on Corporate Boards. Administrative Science Quarterly 45:366–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Williams R. J. (2003). Women on Corporate Boards of Directors and their Influence on Corporate Philanthropy. Journal of Business Ethics 42(1):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Michigan UniversityGrand RapidsU.S.A.
  2. 2.Finance and General BusinessMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA

Personalised recommendations