Publication Date

1-2016

Abstract

This paper examines the gender diversity in corporate boardrooms in Asia and the Pacific and how the diversity affects corporate performance. We find that boardroom gender diversity is low in Asia with 7.5% female representation on average in 2012, but showing a 1.8% improvement in 2013. The appointment of female directors and a gender-diverse boardroom are on average positively associated with a firm’s subsequent performance, but with large cross-country and cross-measurement differences. Firm performance is the highest when there are two females on the board. Using two-stage analyses, we find that (i) a firm’s past performance does not predict its choice to add female directors; (ii) cross-country differences in female corporate leadership respond to its economic demand and supply as measured by gender equality in college education, labor participation, wages, and infant survival; and (iii) female representation on the board, when determined by these economic factors, is a significant predictor of a firm’s future performance.

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Suggested Citation
Qian, M. (2016). Women's leadership and corporate performance (ADB Economics Working Paper Series No. 472). Manila: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement
© Asian Development Back. Available at ADB’s Open Access Repository under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY 3.0 IGO).

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