International Research and Practice
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Val Singh, Ronald J. Burke, Diana Bilimoria and Morten Huse
Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: International Issues and Opportunities
1 Ronald J. Burke and Susan Vinnicombe This collection addresses growing international interest in women on corporate boards of directors. But why a book on corporate women directors now? The ﬁrst research-based book (Burke and Mattis, 2000) appeared almost ten years ago. Since then, both international research and business interest has spiraled in terms of examining the role and number of women on corporate boards. Back in 2000 only the USA regularly measured the number of women on top corporate boards. Now more than 12 countries are regularly reviewing the gender balance of their top boards. It seemed time to take stock of what had transpired in these areas since 2000. Several journal articles (for example, Adams and Flynn, 2005; Burgess and Tharenou, 2002; Daily and Dalton, 2003; Vinnicombe and Singh, 2004), a few books (for example, Branson, 2007; Huse, 2007; Thomson and Graham, 2005), and some government reports (for example, Brown et al., 2003) have appeared in this time period. It seems that there have been several important developments since that time, some positive and some negative, having implications for women’s representation on these boards. Let us ﬁrst consider the bad news. This includes: ● ● ● ● ● ● slow progress of women to senior management ranks, the pool from which many directors are selected; slow increase (glacial to some) in number of women on corporate boards; women continue to face the same challenges in being selected for board membership (e.g. the old boys’ network, gender bias); decreases in the size of corporate boards;...