Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 177–186 | Cite as

The Ultimate Glass Ceiling Revisited: The Presence of Women on Corporate Boards

  • Deborah E. Arfken
  • Stephanie L. Bellar
  • Marilyn M. Helms


Has the diversity of corporate boards of directors improved? Should it? What role does diversity play in reducing corporate wrongdoing? Will diversity result in a more focused board of directors or more board autonomy? Examining the state of Tennessee as a case study, the authors collected data on the board composition of publicly traded corporations and compared those data to an original study conducted in 1995. Data indicate only a modest improvement in board diversity. This article discusses reasons for the scarcity of women on boards and concludes that, to enhance strategic decisions, board membership should reflect the corporation's consumer population. Thus, women are a critical but overlooked resource. Areas for future research are also considered.

corporate boards directors diversity gender minorities women 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah E. Arfken
    • 1
  • Stephanie L. Bellar
    • 2
  • Marilyn M. Helms
    • 3
  1. 1.Human Services ManagementUniversity of Tennessee at ChattanoogaChattanoogaU.S.A.
  2. 2.University of Tennessee at ChattanoogaChattanoogaU.S.A
  3. 3.Dalton State CollegeDaltonU.S.A

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