Using archival data, the authors explored whether female CEOs possess as much structural power as male CEOs and what demographic characteristics are essential for female CEOs to have in order to increase their structural power in their firms. The authors use status characteristics and human capital theories to develop hypotheses. Findings show that female CEOs do not possess as much structural power as male CEOs as proxied by attaining a dual CEO/Chair role in the firm. Instead of dual CEO and Chair roles, female CEOs are more likely to be given the less powerful role of CEO and President. Moreover, female CEOs are more likely to gain structural power if they are entrepreneurs, work in large companies, or possess an elite education.
- Human capital theory
- Status characteristics theory
- Structural power