According to the 2030 Agenda, gender equality plays a central role in achieving social development, expanding economic growth and improving business performance. From this perspective, many studies claim that a more balanced presence of women on Board of Directors (BoD) could have a positive impact on firms’ financial performance, but the effect of such diversity on sustainability performance is still underexplored. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how gender composition of BoD affects the corporate sustainability practices. In particular, we focused on the relationship between board gender composition and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance, by verifying if and to what extent there is a moderation effect due to the presence of CEO duality. We used the ESG index, provided by Bloomberg Data Service, as a proxy of sustainability performance and the Blau index as a measure of gender diversity in the BoD. The empirical analysis was carried out on a sample of Italian non-financial companies listed on Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) and includes a total of 128 observations. Results has shown that a greater gender diversity on BoD has an overall positive influence on ESG performance, while CEO duality negatively moderates the foregoing relationship

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Performance and Board Gender Diversity: The Moderating Role of CEO Duality

Romano, Mauro;Netti, Antonio
2020-01-01

Abstract

According to the 2030 Agenda, gender equality plays a central role in achieving social development, expanding economic growth and improving business performance. From this perspective, many studies claim that a more balanced presence of women on Board of Directors (BoD) could have a positive impact on firms’ financial performance, but the effect of such diversity on sustainability performance is still underexplored. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how gender composition of BoD affects the corporate sustainability practices. In particular, we focused on the relationship between board gender composition and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance, by verifying if and to what extent there is a moderation effect due to the presence of CEO duality. We used the ESG index, provided by Bloomberg Data Service, as a proxy of sustainability performance and the Blau index as a measure of gender diversity in the BoD. The empirical analysis was carried out on a sample of Italian non-financial companies listed on Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) and includes a total of 128 observations. Results has shown that a greater gender diversity on BoD has an overall positive influence on ESG performance, while CEO duality negatively moderates the foregoing relationship
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/363500
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