Does Board Gender Diversity Have a Financial Impact? Evidence Using Stock Portfolio Performance

Chapple, Larelle; Humphrey, Jacquelyn
July 2014
Journal of Business Ethics;Jul2014, Vol. 122 Issue 4, p709
Academic Journal
There is growing regulatory pressure on firms worldwide to address the under-representation of women in senior positions. Regulators have taken a variety of approaches to the issue. We investigate a jurisdiction that has issued recommendations and disclosure requirements, rather than implementing quotas. Much of the rhetoric surrounding gender diversity centres on whether diversity has a financial impact. In this paper we take an aggregate (market-level) approach and compare the performance of portfolios of firms with gender diverse boards to those without. We also investigate whether having multiple women on the board is linked to performance, and if there is a within-industry effect. Overall, we do not find evidence of an association between diversity and performance. We find some weak evidence of a negative correlation between having multiple women on the board and performance, but that in some industries diversity is positively correlated with performance.


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