Navigating the Gender Equality Maze: A study investigating how gender diversity reflects corporate value

Detta är en C-uppsats från Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för finansiell ekonomi

Sammanfattning: This thesis explores if corporate value can be created through increased gender diversity in top management and board positions, using a unique dataset of 209 companies listed on Nasdaq Stockholm between 2013 and 2016. Firstly, we aim to determine the effect of female inclusion in leading positions on corporate financial performance, estimated through accounting- and market-based measures. Furthermore, we investigate how female and male CEOs may differ in terms of background characteristics, in an attempt to understand how this relates to the performance of Swedish firms. By the use of ordinary least square regressions and fixed effects models, we are able to evaluate the impact of greater gender diversity. Our results are vague in support of corporate value creation stemming from an increased female share in either executive or director positions. While we do find suggestive evidence that women and men in CEO positions differ in backgrounds, more research is necessary to validate the disparities. In conclusion, we suggest that companies appointing more females into decision-making positions should not have to fear performance deterioration. An increased female representation is instead suggested to improve companies' financial performance, or at worst, leave it unaffected.

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