Skip to main content

Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: A Needed Resource

Abstract

This research reports the results of a study of women serving on boards of directors of Canadian private and public sector organizations. These women (N = 278) were an impressive and talented group (eduction, professional designations). In addition, they brought a variety of backgrounds and expertise to their director responsibilities. Most were nominated as a result of recommendations from current board members, CEOs, or someone who knew board members or CEOs. Thus personal relationships (the old boy's network) as well as track records and appropriate expertise were important factors in board nominations. Women directors thought they had some influence on women's issues with their boards and board companies. A majority believed that board members should be more diverse, including more women and fewer male CEOs. However they indicated several barriers faced by women in being selected and nominated for board appointments.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Burke, R. J.: 1994, ‘Women on Corporate Boards of Directors’, in J. de Bruijn and E. Cyba (eds.), Gender and Organizations: Changing Perspectives (VV University Press, Amsterdam).

    Google Scholar 

  • Fleischer, A., G. L. Hazard and M. Z. Klipper: 1988, Boardgames: The Changing Shape of Corporate Power (Little, Brown & Company, Boston, Mass.).

    Google Scholar 

  • Gillies, J. G.: 1992, Boardroom Renaissance (McGraw-Hill, Toronto).

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, J.: 1991, Directory of Directors (The Financial Post, Toronto).

    Google Scholar 

  • Leighton, D. and D. Thain: 1993, ‘Selecting New Directors’, Business Quarterly 57, 16–25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lorsch, J. W. and E. MacIver: 1989, Pawns or Potentates: The Reality of America's Corporate Boards (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass.).

    Google Scholar 

  • Mace, M.: 1971, Directors: Myth and Reality (Division of Research, Harvard Business School, Boston, Mass.).

    Google Scholar 

  • Mattis, M. C.: 1993, ‘Women Directors: Progress and Opportunities for the Future’, Business & the Contemporary World 5, 140–156.

    Google Scholar 

  • Patton, A. and J. C. Baker: 1987, ‘Why Directors Won't Rock the Boat’, Harvard Business Review 65, 10–12, 16, 18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schwartz, F. N.: 1980, ‘Invisible Resource: Women for Boards’, Harvard Business Review 58, 16–18.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Burke, R.J. Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: A Needed Resource. Journal of Business Ethics 16, 909–915 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1017987220508

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1017987220508

Keywords

  • Economic Growth
  • Public Sector
  • Board Member
  • Personal Relationship
  • Director Responsibility