An update of gender diversity in editorial boards: A longitudinal study of management journals

Isabel Metz*, Anne-Wil Harzing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This study aims to update knowledge of women's representation on the boards of scholarly management journals with a longitudinal analysis of the same over two decades.

Design/methodology/approach - This study extends the work of Metz and Harzing on women's representation in the editorial boards of 57 management journals from 1989 to 2004 by focusing on the development of gender diversity in editorial board membership over time. The authors first add another time period (2005-2009) to Metz and Harzing's data. They then add empirical richness by conducting a more fine-grained analysis of women's representation at the various editorial board levels over time. In addition, this study analyses the development of female editorial board memberships over time for five management fields, journals of four different ranks, and two geographic regions. As a result, this study examines women's representation in the editorial boards of 57 management journals over a period of 20 years (from 1989 to 2009).

Findings - The results showed an overall increase in women's representation in the editorial boards of these 57 management journals (at Board Member, Associate Editor and Editor in Chief levels) in the last five years (2004-2009) to 22.4 per cent. Despite several positive trends identified in this follow-up study, women's representation as editorial board members continues to be inconsistent across five management fields, across four journal rankings and across two geographic regions.

Practical implications - This study's findings clearly indicate that there is still much that can be done to narrow the gender imbalance in most editorial boards of management journals. Monitoring women's representation in editorial boards of management journals is only one of the steps needed for successful change to occur.

Social implications - This study's findings matter for our society because editorial board membership is a sign of one's scholarly recognition and valued in academic promotion processes. It is important, therefore, that this promotion criterion be evaluated in the context of up-to-date knowledge of the representation of women in editorial boards of management journals, otherwise its impact on women's promotion could exacerbate an already discriminatory system of academic scholarship.

Originality/value - It is important to monitor women's (under)representation on the boards of scholarly management journals regularly to raise awareness that might lead to or sustain positive change. This follow-up study serves that purpose in the field of management, a largely neglected field until recently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-300
Number of pages18
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender diversity
  • Academia
  • Editorial boards
  • Management journals
  • Women
  • Gender
  • Boards
  • Journals
  • Periodicals

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