Why Women Say No to Corporate Boards and What Can Be Done

Chris Rowley (First Author), Jean S. K. Lee (Participant Author), Luh Luh Lan (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


Research indicates many women prefer being self-employed and entrepreneurs, creating value based on their personal beliefs, rather than sitting on boards as “Ornamental Directors”. Furthermore, the road to corporate boards for women has been long, tortuous, and bumpy, but needlessly so. Several theoretical explanations have been suggested for this situation, often with overlap and similarities. However, we believe that in other barriers are due to poor ‘signaling’ of success for female directors and structural issues. The messaging comes in the form of networks and nomination process bias, role model and mentor shortages, work–family balance, legal ambiguity, policies, and cognitive behavior. This leads to what we call the “Ornamental Director” syndrome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-207
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Corresponding author email



  • Asia
  • boards
  • gender
  • women

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A
  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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