Title: Does board gender diversity affect firm performance? Evidence from the French SMEs

Authors: Riadh Manita; Najoua Elommal; Rey Dang; L'Hocine Houanti

Addresses: NEOMA Business School, 1 rue du Maréchal Juin – BP 215, 76825 Mont Saint Aignan Cédex, France ' Research Center, Leonard de Vinci Pole Universitaire, France ' ISTEC Paris, 128 quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris, France ' Métis Lab, EM Normandie Business School, 30 Rue Richelieu, 76600 Le Havre, France

Abstract: In the contemporary business world, the diversity of boards in terms of gender has been examined by many researchers and those responsible for public policy. Although many studies have assessed the correlation between how a company performs financially and the gender diversity of its board, this research has tended to focus on larger companies and the results have been inconclusive. This paper will re-examine key elements of the existing discourse by focusing on a selection of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France between 2009 and 2014. Panel data and the two-stage least squares (2SLS) methodology was employed to assert empirical control over both the significance and direction of the correlation between the financial performance of an organisation and the diversity of its board. Unlike the literature, in our study of French SMEs, we found no notable correlation between how a company performs financially and how diverse its board is in terms of gender. This paper will examine the benefits firms can access by ensuring the gender diversity of their respective boards.

Keywords: board of directors; company performance; diversity; gender; women.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2020.111580

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2020 Vol.41 No.4, pp.584 - 603

Received: 19 Oct 2018
Accepted: 01 Nov 2018

Published online: 25 Nov 2020 *

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