Doug Branson (Pitt) is the author of No Seat at the Table: How Corporate Governance and Law Keep Women Out of the Boardroom (NYU Press 2008). At the MSU Symposium on "Gender and the Legal Profession," Professor Branson is speaking on "Diversity in Corporate Governance." Here are a few highlights from his talk:
Corporations tend to choose the same women to serve on corporate boards, creating what he calls the "trophy director" problem. The same women serve on four, five, six or more boards. Professor Branson says that the pool of potential board candidates needs to be larger. 64% of corporate directors do not come from "the system," meaning the corporate world itself. It is more likely that female directors will have "side-stepped" in after serving in academia or the non-profit world.
Professor Branson offers these thoughts on why women have not progressed in the corporate world. He says that women's communication style may be interpreted negatively by men, and that a 24/7 corporate culture penalizes women for being primary caregivers..