Women Directors and E&S Performance: Evidence from Board Gender Quotas

51 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2021 Last revised: 16 Jun 2021

See all articles by Edith Ginglinger

Edith Ginglinger

Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Caroline Gentet-Raskopf

Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University

Date Written: January 10, 2020

Abstract

Using the natural experiment created by France's 2011 board gender-quota law, we find that the presence of women on boards increases firms’ environmental and social (E&S) performance. Our results are robust to controlling for several directors’ observable characteristics and proxies for values such as benevolence, universalism, and nonconformism. Since the passage of the law, firms are more likely to create an E&S committee. However, E&S committees are not the only channel through which the inclusion of women on boards drives E&S performance. After the quota law, women are increasingly serving as members and chairs of major committees. Our findings suggest that female directors have unique qualities, experiences, and preferences, which, in combination with their enhanced authority, enable them to steer firms toward more E&S oriented policies.

Keywords: board of directors, gender quotas, gender diversity, board committees, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), corporate social responsibility (CSR)

JEL Classification: G34, G38, J16, K38, M14

Suggested Citation

Ginglinger, Edith and Gentet-Raskopf, Caroline, Women Directors and E&S Performance: Evidence from Board Gender Quotas (January 10, 2020). European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 760/2021, Université Paris-Dauphine Research Paper No. 3832100, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3832100 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3832100

Edith Ginglinger (Contact Author)

Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Tassigny
Paris, Cedex 16 75775
France

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

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

Caroline Gentet-Raskopf

Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Tassigny
Paris, Cedex 16 75775
France

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