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Women in Top Management and Firm Performance


  • Smith, Nina

    () (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

  • Smith, Valdemar

    () (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

  • Verner, Mette

    () (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)


The purpose of this study is to present new evidence on the relationship between gender diversity in management and firm performance. According to corporate governance literature, board diversity is expected to affect firm performance. Using a large data set with more than 10000 time-observations for all Danish firms with more than 50 employees over the period 1994-2003, the analysis suggests that the proportion of women in top management jobs has from none to positive influence on firm performance. However, the results show that the strength of the effects of women in top management depends on how top CEOs are defined and on the method of estimation of the model. Next, the results point towards a positive influence on firm performance of the staff representation in the supervisory board of the firm but more women representing the shareholders in the supervisory board of the firm seems to be unimportant.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Nina & Smith, Valdemar & Verner, Mette, 2008. "Women in Top Management and Firm Performance," Working Papers 08-12, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2008_012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mark B. Stewart, 2007. "The interrelated dynamics of unemployment and low-wage employment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 511-531.
    2. Rosholm, Michael & Svarer, Michael, 2004. "Estimating the Threat Effect of Active Labour Market Programmes," IZA Discussion Papers 1300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Christian Belzil, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and subsequent job duration: job matching versus unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 619-636.
    4. Lars Pico Geerdsen, 2006. "Is there a Threat Effect of Labour Market Programmes? A Study of ALMP in the Danish UI System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 738-750, July.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Comportamento econômico das mulheres
      by Roberto Ushisima in Empresas e Mercados on 2009-09-08 23:06:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Ana Rute Cardoso & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2007. "Mentoring and Segregation: Female-Led Firms and Gender Wage Policies," Economics working papers 2007-20, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. O'Reilly, Charles A., III & Main, Brian G. M., 2012. "Women in the Boardroom: Symbols or Substance?," Research Papers 2098, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.

    More about this item


    Firm performance; Female CEOs; Gender diversity in management;

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility


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