May 8th, 2012
07:48 AM GMT
(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.
Of the 222 MBA students who rated the fake IPO presentations, only 45 were women – and both men and women tended to favor their gender. Still, IPOs led on paper by men generated nearly four times the recommended percentage to invest from the students. “Moreover, the anticipated share price of IPOs led by male CEOs was approximately 11% higher than those of female led IPOs,” the study said.
This comes as the number of working women eclipsed men for the first time in many developed economies like the U.S. in 2009. More recently, a Pew Research Center report last month showed young women now top young men in valuing a high-paying career for the first time.
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