Country, Industry, and Firm-Level Influences on the Prevalence of Women on Corporate Boards

Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 20:261-277 (2009)
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Abstract

Prior research that analyses the cross-firm variation in the prevalence of women on corporate boards has tended to emphasise the importance of firm and industry-level factors, such as firm size, the quality of corporate governance, and the proximity to final consumers. In contrast, very little research has explored the role of national institutional factors for this important phenomenon. In this study, we explore the relative importance of country, industry, and firm-level factors in explaining the cross-firm variation in the proportion of directorships occupied by female directors. Findings indicate that while all levels of influence are significant, country-level effects are a highly-important and under-researched antecedent of the presence of women on corporate boards.

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