What Do We Know About Women on Boards?

  • Simpson G
  • Carter D
  • D'Souza F
  • 62

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Abstract

In this article, we examine the current state of the research on firm performance and the gender diversity of firms’ boards of directors. First, we present and analyze descriptive statistics for 13,000 board seats of the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) 1500 companies for the years 2003- 2007. Next, we review the conceptual propositions of the business case for women on boards, i.e., the link between women directors and firm financial performance. Finally, we review selected empirical evidence on the link between women directors and firm financial performance. We find the evidence on the business case for women directors is mixed, but tends to support the view that the ability of women directors to influence profitability and shareholder value is contingent on the specific circumstances of each company.

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Authors

  • G. W. Simpson

  • D. A. Carter

  • F. D'Souza

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