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There is considerable interest in increasing the representation of women on the boards of publicly traded corporations. Currently, only 17 percent of independent directors in the United States are women.
In this Closer Look, we examine the pathways that women took to become the first female directors of Fortune 250 companies. We examine their biographies and professional experiences, and compare these experiences to the backgrounds of female directors today.
* How have the pathways for women to get on corporate boards changed?
* Did the first female directors have to be substantially better than their male peers in order to stand out?
* Are the opportunities and obstacles today the same or different?
Topics, Issues and Controversies in Corporate Governance and Leadership: The Closer Look series is a collection of short case studies through which we explore topics, issues, and controversies in corporate governance. In each study, we take a targeted look at a specific issue that is relevant to the current debate on governance and explain why it is so important. Larcker and Tayan are co-authors of the books Corporate Governance Matters and A Real Look at Real World Corporate Governance.
The entire Closer Look series may be found here: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/cldr/research/closer_look.html