May 8th, 2012
07:48 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Women have been breaking through the glass ceiling toward senior positions in greater numbers, but U.S. research suggests there is now a “green ceiling” that female executives face to get investor cash.

Researchers at the University of Utah and Washington University found that when MBA students are presented an identical IPO offering, they are less likely to invest if the company is led by a female CEO than a man.

That comes despite the fact women holding corporate officer positions in the U.S. increased to 55% from 10% between 1997 and 2007, the study notes.

“Given the increasing numbers of women executives in the top management teams of IPO firms, the lack of female-led IPO firms is a curious fact, especially since women-owned private businesses represent almost half of the new businesses formed in the United States,” the authors said.

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