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Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance

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  • Adams, Renée B.
  • Ferreira, Daniel

Abstract

We show that female directors have a significant impact on board inputs and firm outcomes. In a sample of US firms, we find that female directors have better attendance records than male directors, male directors have fewer attendance problems the more gender-diverse the board is, and women are more likely to join monitoring committees. These results suggest that gender-diverse boards allocate more effort to monitoring. Accordingly, we find that chief executive officer turnover is more sensitive to stock performance and directors receive more equity-based compensation in firms with more gender-diverse boards. However, the average effect of gender diversity on firm performance is negative. This negative effect is driven by companies with fewer takeover defenses. Our results suggest that mandating gender quotas for directors can reduce firm value for well-governed firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:94:y:2009:i:2:p:291-309
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Niessen, Alexandra & Ruenzi, Stefan, 2007. "Sex matters: Gender differences in a professional setting," CFR Working Papers 06-01, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Board of directors Board effectiveness Gender Diversity;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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