Hitting the "Grass Ceiling": Golfing CEOs, Exclusionary Schema, and Career Outcomes for Female Executives. By: Biggerstaff, Lee E; Campbell, Joanna T. and Goldie, Bradley A. 2024. Journal of Management. Vol. 50 Issue 5, p1502-1535.

There are many complex reasons for the underrepresentation of women among executive ranks, both on the supply side (that is, women opting out of the executive track or career experiences that put them on it) and the demand side. To begin to tackle this multifaceted issue and better understand the demand-side drivers of lack of diversity in the upper echelons of organizations, we build on the institutional logics literature to develop the notion of CEO exclusionary schema and argue that it introduces an unconscious
bias. To test this notion, we empirically investigate the role that a CEO’s participation in a male-dominated, exclusionary sport plays as an obstacle to female advancement in the executive ranks. Specifically, we find that CEOs that play golf are significantly less likely to employ a female on their executive team, across a range of definitions. Further, we show that this relationship is even stronger for CEOs with elite educational backgrounds. In additional analyses, we find that the gender pay gap on the top management team is also much larger at firms where the CEO plays golf. Overall, our study suggests that CEO out-of-the-office experiences and background can support unconscious biases, and there is still significant work to be done to break down demand-side barriers to female advancement in the executive realm.