Barriers to Boardrooms

Renée B. Adams, Tom Kirchmaier

Research output: Working paperResearch


Boardroom diversity policies link societal and corporate governance objectives. To understand whether they can meet both objectives, we argue one must understand why female directors are relatively underrepresented. We document that boardroom diversity is lower than most surveys suggest. We then show that across countries and US states there are more women in the director pool when more women work full time. However, working full-time may not be sufficient for women to make it to the top because of economic and cultural barriers. Our evidence suggests current boardroom diversity policies may be less effective when barriers to boardrooms are bigger.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherEuropean Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes
SeriesECGI Working Paper in Finance


  • Boardroom diversity
  • Female labor force participation
  • Culture
  • Quotas
  • Codes

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