This paper examines the role of women helping women in corporate America. Using a merged panel of directors and executives for large U.S. corporations between 1997 and 2009, the authors find a positive association between the female share of the board of directors in the previous year and the female share among current top executives. The relationship's timing suggests that causality runs from boards to managers and not the reverse. This pattern of women helping women at the highest levels of firm leadership highlights the continued importance of a demand-side "glass ceiling" in explaining the slow progress of women in business.
This paper series was made possible by the NIA funded RAND Center for the Study of Aging and the NICHD funded RAND Population Research Center.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.