The role of board gender diversity in impacting corporate decisions has attracted considerable research attention. Findings suggest that more diverse boards lead to a better firm performance by improving corporate governance quality, enhancing communication with the stakeholders and wider society, and building stronger external relations.
Companies that offer greater women representation on boards are argued to bring alternative perspectives to the boardroom, and such diversity of opinion improves board dynamics and enhances group decision making.
Professor Aydin Ozkan, with colleagues at Huddersfield investigated the extent to which board gender diversity mattered in banks’ initial responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Constructing a unique Covid-19 bank response measure for US and European banks during the first wave of the pandemic, they found that banks with higher women board representation supported their customers and communities more and increased their charity and donations.
The study concluded that boards with greater women representation exert greater influence on the decisions in being more socially responsible and supportive to communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The findings of the study suggest that the efforts to improve gender diversity in the banking sector should be increased to achieve a more sustainable and responsible economic development.
Kara, A., Nanteza, A., Ozkan, A. and Yildiz, Y. (2022) ‘Board gender diversity and responsible banking during the COVID-19 pandemic’, Journal of Corporate Finance. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2022.102213.
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