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We theorize that female candidates considering CEO roles will perceive greater termination vulnerability in such roles than their male counterparts. We further theorize that indicators of recent organizational distress will exacerbate female CEO candidates’ perceptions of termination vulnerability, while the presence of female leaders will mitigate these concerns. To test our arguments, we examine the initial values of newly appointed female and male CEOs’ severance agreements from 2007 to 2014. Results support our arguments and begin to shed light on the factors that influence female executives’ concerns about CEO roles and ultimately firms’ ability to appoint female CEOs.

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Klein, F.B.; Chaigneau, P. and Devers, C.E. "CEO Gender-Based Termination Concerns: Evidence from Initial Severance Agreements", Journal of Management, 47(3), pp. 567-596. Copyright © 2019, The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications, 2021.