Research on Gender and Financial Performance

1. André Chanavat, “Women in the Workplace:  Latest Workforce Trends in Gender Equality,” Thomson Reuters Special Report, 2012, 

This study discusses the progress of women in the ranks of corporate management and boards in developed markets, and measures the financial performance of those with the best records on inclusion of women among decision-makers with those companies that do the worst.  The study shows that in both major global and European indexes, companies that have at least 30% women among their managers and boards outperform companies with less than 20% women among managers and less than 10% women on boards during 2011, particularly in the latter three-quarters of the year when financial markets were particularly volatile.

2.The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards 2004-2008,” Catalyst, 2011
Catalyst provides figures and data which suggest that the representation by women on boards is correlated with corporate financial performance.

3.“Does Critical Mass Matter?  Views From the Boardroom,” (link: Lissa Lamkin Broome, John M. Conley, and Kimberly D. Krawiec, Seattle University Law Review 34:1049, 2011

This article analyzes the results of forty-six wide-ranging interviews with corporate directors and other relevant insiders on the general topic of whether and how the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of corporate boards matters. In particular, the article explores their views on the concept of “critical mass”—that is, the theory that women and racial or ethnic minorities are unlikely to have an impact in the boardroom until they grow from a few tokens into a considerable minority of the board.

4. Renee Adams, Stephen Gray and John Nowland, “Does Gender Matter in the Boardroom?  Evidence from the Market Reaction to Mandatory New Director Announcements,” 2011. 

A study of Australian companies’ announcements of new board appointments shows that the market (stock price) consistently reacts more positively to the appointments of female directors than male directors.

5. Bill Frances, Iftekhar Hasan and Quang Wu, “The Impact of CFO Gender on Bank Loan Contracting,” Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 18, 2011.

The study found that firms with female CFOs enjoyed lower bank loan prices than firms with male CFOs. 

6. Jordan Siegel, Lynn Pyun and B.Y. Cheon, “Multinational Firms, Labor Market Discriniation, and the Capture of Competitive Advantage by Exploiting the Social Divide,” Harvard Business School Working Paper 11-011, 2010. 

The study found that foreign multinationals were far more likely than Korean companies to hire women managers, even when there were few women in the managerial ranks of the companies’ home countries, and that this created a statistically significant advantage to profitability.

7.Gender Diversity in Corporate Governance and Top Management
Claude Francoeur, Réal Labelle, and Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, Journal of Business Ethics, 2008

This article discusses how women’s participation on a company’s board of directors or in senior management enhances financial performance.

8.A Business Case for Women
Georges Desvaux, Sandrine Devillard-Hoellinger, and Mary C. Meaney, McKinsey Quarterly, September 2008

McKinsey discusses research they have done on women’s impact on corporate performance and business strategy.

9. Ferdinand A Gul, Gin Srini dhi and Judy Tsui, “Do Female Directors Enhance Corporate Board Monitoring?  Some Evidence from Earnings Quality,” September 2007.

The study finds a positive correlation between the number of women on corporate boards and earnings quality.

10.The Diversity of Corporate Board Committees and Firm Financial Performance
David A. Carter Frank D’Souza, Betty J. Simkins, and W. Gary Simpson, Department of Finance, Oklahoma State University, March 15, 2007

This report looks at the economic case for a diverse board of directors.

11.Sex, Trust, and Corporate Boards
Joan MacLeod Heminway, Hastings Women’s Law Journal, April 15, 2007

This article collects and interprets social science research on sex and trust in regard to the business case for gender diversity on corporate boards.

12.Critical Mass on Corporate Boards: Why Three or More Women Enhance Governance
Vicki W. Kramer, Alison M Konrad, and Sumru Erkut, Wellesley Centers for Women Special Report, Paper No. WCW11, 2006

Based on interviews and discussions, this study seeks to show that a critical mass of three or more women can cause a fundamental change in the boardroom and enhance corporate governance.

13.Sex Matters: Gender and Mutual Funds
A. Niessen and S. Ruenzi, University of Cologne: Department of Corporate Finance & Centre for Financial Research, 2005

This paper analyzes the behavior differences of female and male US equity fund managers, and examines the gender differences in risk aversion, investment style and trading activity.

14.Gopal V. Krishnan and Linda M. Parsons, “Getting to the Bottom Line:  An exploration of Gender and Earnings Quality,” no date)

The study finds that the improved profitability of companies with greater proportions of women in their management structures is not a result of accounting manipulation or earnings management, but rather that earnings quality is higher.