In the most prestigious journals of many disciplines, female researchers are underrepresented. To better understand this phenomenon, we compare the proportions of female authors in all leading management and organization studies (MOS) journals, explore underlying gendered publication patterns, and analyze factors explaining differences between journals. We examine the gendered distribution of authorship in these journals using a complete, original time series. The comprehensive data set includes all articles published in fourteen leading journals in the MOS field, comprising 77,472 cases (authors) and 43,673 articles. The findings show that women have been underrepresented in all leading MOS journals until now. However, our findings reveal significant differences between journals, with some journals lagging far behind their peers. We ask why some journals score much higher than others and show that gendered authorship constellations and research topic specialization consistently explain female representation differences between journals. More specifically, we find a dominance of ‘men's clubs’ when it comes to authorship constellations and thriving ‘male islands’ when it comes to research topics. In contrast, ‘women's clubs’ are far less prevalent and no ‘female island’ exists. Interestingly, female authorship and ‘shared islands’ play a particularly powerful role in narrowing the gender gap in leading journals. Our results provide a benchmark for female representation across leading journals and allow for the formulation of concrete research policy goals and directions for change.