Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Clifford Staples


The Corporate Elite (CE) has been dominated by white men who have

traditionally contributed to the Republican Party to further corporate business interests. Since the 1970's, a small but growing number of women have attained positions of power and authority in the CE. This trend raises the question of how the arrival of women will affect the political contribution behavior of the CE. This study examines

differences in the number of men and women who contributed to Republicans or Democrats in the 2008 election. Analysis suggests three patterns: (1) men contributed in significantly higher numbers to the Republican Party and candidates, (2) women contributed in significantly higher numbers to the Democratic Party and candidates, and (3) gender remained a significant predictor of contribution behavior despite controlling for corporate CEO, board membership, and educational attainment. Future research might examine additional factors that influence these individual's political contribution