Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics

No 08-12: Women in Top Management and Firm Performance

Nina Smith (), Valdemar Smith () and Mette Verner ()
Additional contact information
Nina Smith: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: Frichshuset Hermodsvej 22, 8230 Åbyhøj, DK Denmark
Valdemar Smith: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: Frichshuset Hermodsvej 22, 8230 Åbyhøj, Denmark
Mette Verner: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: Frichshuset Hermodsvej 22, 8230 Åbyhøj, Denmark, Denmark

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Firm performance; Female CEOs; Gender diversity in management

JEL-codes: G38; J16; M14

28 pages, January 1, 2008

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