Type of Thesis
Dr. Jennifer Klein
Dr. Martin Boileau
Dr. Heather Demarest
This paper examines whether or not the gender makeup of an executive board impacts the likelihood of a firm having a female CEO. It is true that female CEO representation has increased over time, however, in publicly traded companies they are still an occupational minority. Only 5% of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO. Recent studies have shown that female executives are under-represented and under-compensated. This paper uses EXECUCOMP, COMPUSTAT, and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) data from 1997 to 2017 to analyze the effect of executive and firm characteristics on the probability of having a female CEO. The number of unique firms within the sample is 2,678. We find that a 1 percentage point increase in the fraction of the executive board that is female leads to 0.4 percentage point increase in the likelihood of having a female CEO, holding all else constant. Firms with larger and more independent boards are less likely to hire a female CEO. However, firms seem to perform similarly regardless of the gender of their CEO.
Ward, Read, "Examining the Effects of Executive Board Gender Composition" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1972.