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Title:Bridging the gender gap: factors enabling female directors to affect the appointment of female CEOs
Author(s):You, Ji Hae
Director of Research:Shin, Taekjin
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Shin, Taekjin
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Olson, Craig; Aguilera, Ruth; Bednar, Michael
Department / Program:School of Labor & Empl. Rel.
Discipline:Human Res & Industrial Rels
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Board gender diversity
CEO succession
Abstract:This dissertation examines the effect of female board representation on the probability that a firm will appoint a woman to the CEO position. To study the relationship, I first draw on social identity theory to explain female directors’ preference for a female CEO candidate. Then, considering that female directors' minority status may constrain their ability to affect group decisions, I supplement social identity theory with critical mass theory to argue that increasing the number of female directors beyond a certain point will empower them to become more influential in CEO appointment decisions, and this empowerment, in turn, will increase the likelihood that firms will appoint a female CEO. Furthermore, I argue that the positive effect of female board representation on the probability of women being appointed to the CEO position is stronger under two organizational conditions: (1) when directors have an opportunity to observe or work with women in the upper echelons of other firms through board interlock ties and (2) when the organization or industry has a higher-level of female-friendliness. I test this argument by analyzing 1,096 CEO succession events in large United States firms from 1998 to 2012. I found that the likelihood of appointing a female CEO significantly rises once the board has three female directors. The results also demonstrate that the relationship between the proportion of female directors and the likelihood of appointing a female CEO is stronger when directors have interlock ties with firms having women in the upper echelons and when the firm and the industry the firm belongs to have a high proportion of female executive managers.
Issue Date:2016-04-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Ji Hae You
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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