Gender Diversity in Senior Positions and Firm Performance: Evidence from Europe


Lone Engbo Christiansen ; Huidan Huidan Lin ; Joana Pereira ; Petia Topalova ; Rima A Turk

Publication Date:

March 7, 2016

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper examines the link between gender diversity in senior corporate positions and financial performance of 2 million companies in Europe. We document a positive association between corporate return on assets and the share of women in senior positions and establish two potential channels through which gender diversity may affect firm performance. The positive correlation is more pronounced in, first, sectors where women form a larger share of the labor force (such as the services sector) and, second, where complementarities in skills and critical thinking are in high demand (such as high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors).


Working Paper No. 2016/050



Publication Date:

March 7, 2016



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