Women in the Boardroom and Their Impact on Governance and Performance

51 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2008 Last revised: 31 Oct 2018

See all articles by Renee B. Adams

Renee B. Adams

University of Oxford

Daniel Ferreira

London School of Economics - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 22, 2008


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 CEO 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.

Keywords: Board of Directors, Board Effectiveness, Gender, Diversity

JEL Classification: G12, G30, G34, J16, J33

Suggested Citation

Adams, Renée B. and Ferreira, Daniel, Women in the Boardroom and Their Impact on Governance and Performance (October 22, 2008). European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 57/2004 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1107721 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1107721

Renée B. Adams (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Daniel Ferreira

London School of Economics - Department of Finance ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
(+44) 20 7955 7544 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/FERREIRD/

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

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