How does the Gender Composition of Corporate Boards affect the Risk-Adjusted Performance of Large Swedish Firms?
This master thesis examines the effects of the gender composition of the board of directors of companies within the Swedish OMX Large Cap index, on riskadjusted and unadjusted performance measures. Furthermore, the relationship between the gender composition and the level of systematic risk is analysed, crystallized in terms of the firm beta values. Both Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and timeseries specifications are utilized. For both riskadjusted and unadjusted measures, no significant relationship was found, when using the standard five percent significance level. For the beta values, a negative relationship was found in the OLS setting. Here an increase of the share of females with one percentage point implied a reduction of the beta value by .0024. No relationship was found in the time series specification. Firms with a higher share of women thus displayed a lower level of systematic risk, but when looking at the individual businesses, no causal link between an increase of female representation and systematic risk could be stated. In short, gender was not found to be a predictor for risk or performance.
MSc in Finance