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Appears in Collections:Accounting and Finance Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: CEO gender, critical mass of board gender diversity, and ESG performance: UK evidence
Author(s): Al-Shaer, Habiba
Zaman, Mahbub
Albitar, Khaldoon
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Keywords: CEOs
ESG performance
critical mass
Issue Date: 2-May-2024
Date Deposited: 18-Mar-2024
Citation: Al-Shaer H, Zaman M & Albitar K (2024) CEO gender, critical mass of board gender diversity, and ESG performance: UK evidence. <i>Journal of Accounting Literature</i>.
Abstract: Purpose This study investigates the relationship between CEO leadership, gender homophily and corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. We also investigate whether it is essential to have a critical mass of women directors on the board to create a significant power of gender diversity in leadership positions. Design/methodology/approach Our study is based on firms listed on the London Stock Exchange (FTSE-All-Share) from 2011 to 2019. CEO characteristics and other board variables were collected from BoardEx, and ESG data, and other related variables were collected from Eikon database. Findings We find a critical mass of female directors contributes to ESG performance suggesting that token representation of female directors on boards limits their effectiveness. We do not find support for the gender homophily perspective, our findings suggest that the effectiveness of female CEOs does not depend on the existence of a critical mass of female directors. Female directors and female CEOs are less likely to be associated with ESG activities when firms experience poor financial performance. We also find that younger female CEOs have a positive impact on ESG performance. Furthermore, we find female CEOs with shorter tenure are more likely to improve ESG performance. Overall, our findings suggest a substitutional effect between having female CEOs and gender diverse boards. Originality/value This study contributes to the debate on gender homophily in the boardroom and how that may affect ESG practices. It also complements existing academic research on female leadership and ESG performance and has important implications for senior management and policymakers.
DOI Link: 10.1108/JAL-10-2023-0181
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Accounting Literature by Emerald. Al-Shaer H, Zaman M & Albitar K (2024) CEO gender, critical mass of board gender diversity, and ESG performance: UK evidence. Journal of Accounting Literature. The original publication will be available at: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
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