Women on Corporate Boards: A Comparative Institutional Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • University of Bath


How do a country’s basic institutions enable or hinder women’s rise to the boards of public companies? The study evaluates this question with reference to the five basic institutions that research suggests are common across all countries: family, education, economy, government, and religion. The study draws on a sample, which consists of 23 countries, and the study is framed in neo-institutional theory. In analyzing the role of these institutions, the article seeks to understand better the relationships between specific institutions and the share of board seats held by women. The results suggest that four of the five basic institutions are related to the share of board seats women hold. Family, education, economy, and government influence women’s rise to the board; however, religion does not influence women’s rise to the corporate board of directors.


Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness & Society
Early online date3 Nov 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2015


  • corporate board diversity, corporate boards, board demography, institutional theory, women on boards