New Study Reveals that Women Board Members Create Opportunities for Women Executives

New findings by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University underscore the benefits of adding more women to corporate boards. Kellogg’s study, entitled “Chipping Away at the Glass Ceiling: Gender Spillovers in Corporate Leadership,” reveals that “a higher representation of women on a company’s board of directors directly increases the female share of and access to higher positions within the company.”

The news that putting more women on a company’s board leads to more women in top management positions at that company is very encouraging. As David Matsa, assistant professor of finance at Kellogg aptly points out, this is a situation of “‘women helping women’ at the highest level of company leadership.” However, on the flip side, the study found that increasing the number of female top-level managers at a company won’t result in more women occupying board seats.

The study’s findings were based on data from corporate boards and top executives at publicly traded companies during the years 1997-2009. To read a summary of the findings, go to Kellogg’s website.

At your company, have you seen any relationship between the gender makeup of its board and the ability of women to attain executive and managerial roles?

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