Öberg, C. (2020). The shape of female board representation. International Journal of Comparative Management, 3(1-2), 53-72.


Female board representation is increasingly debated in research and practice. This paper problematises how board representation as such may not be the issue, but rather how well nested the women are: that is, whether there is a difference in board members’ representation on multiple boards between women and men and how this affects the woman’s influence, or power, on a particular board. This paper relates such representations not only to whether women hold several board positions, but also to the shape of the network that the multiple representations create. The paper points at how the power of women on boards varies with (1) the existence of few or many interlocks on the board, (2) the number of representations held by the female board member, (3) the fragmented or large network that the female board member is part of, and (4) whether the network consists of direct or indirect links.