Local Knowledge Advances Women's Access to Corporate Boards


*Bentley College, Department of Management, 175 Forest Street, Waltham, MA 02452-4705, USA. Tel: 01-781-891-2527; E-mail: sadams@bentley.edu


There is a need for regional studies of women on corporate boards to capture experiences of smaller companies and to understand the nature of local resources for expanding the pool of women candidates for board seats. New findings from a statewide study of women on corporate boards are reported. The paper examines the status of women on corporate boards compared to other regions in the United States and around the world. Change efforts of governments and professional organisations for helping women overcome barriers to the boardroom are described to demonstrate the need for local knowledge in determining an effective change approach. Results from this study indicate that the local pool of women in academia and consulting has provided alternative routes to the boardroom. This knowledge can be used to direct change efforts for promoting women on boards. Practical implications are discussed for women seeking board seats and for firms seeking qualified women director candidates.