Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Women on Management Board and Firm Performance: Evidence from The Visegrad Group Countries



Objective: The findings of previous research on women serving on company boards have been inconclusive, with some demonstrating a positive influence of women on company performance while others indicate a lack of impact. While certain theories advocate for the appointment of women to the board, others offer counterarguments against gender diversity within boards. The connection between women on the board and company performance may be influenced by the institutional setting, specifically a culture of gender equality. Therefore, our objective is to explore how the presence of women on the board affects company performance within a comparable institutional environment.


Research Design & Methods: The study focuses on 451 publicly traded companies in the V4 countries (i.e. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia) over 2019-2021 period, examining the composition of management boards in terms of gender diversity. The study used four types of characteristics to describe the management board's composition, including the presence of women on the board, the percentage of female directors, Blau's index of heterogeneity, and the gender of the CEO. The study used t-tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, and data regression to investigate the impact of female directors on company efficiency and market performance.


Findings: The data shows that only 32.8% of companies have at least one woman on their management board and the average share of women on these boards is low at 12%. The study finds that companies with at least one woman on the board have higher capitalization, revenues, profit, total assets, and debt, with statistical significance. In terms of firm performance, companies with women on their board have slightly higher operating and market ratios. We find a positive relationship between operating efficiency and the percentage of women on the management board and board gender diversity, but no statistically significant association between women’s presence on the management board and market performance. Our study supports the hypothesis that a woman's presence on the management board affects firm performance.


Implications & Recommendations: The findings can be valuable and may have practical implications for policymakers and company executives who seek to improve firm performance and promote gender diversity because they provide empirical evidence that gender diversity in corporate leadership can have a positive impact on a company's performance. Policymakers can use this information to support and promote policies that encourage gender diversity in corporate leadership. Companies interested in promoting diversity can use this information to support their efforts to increase gender diversity on their management boards and potentially improve their performance.


Contribution & Value Added:

This study contributes to the ongoing discussion on gender diversity in corporate leadership and its potential impact on firm performance. By analyzing a sample of companies from CEE countries with the two-tier system of corporate governance, the study provides empirical evidence that the appointment of women to manage-ment boards is associated with higher firm performance in terms of operating efficiency. The study's findings also shed light on the differences in the representation of women on management boards between coun-tries, with Poland having the lowest representation of women. This suggests that there may be cultural or institutional factors that influence gender diversity in corporate leadership.



board gender diversity, operating performance, market performance, the Visegrad Group, two-tier corporate governance system

(PDF) Save

Author Biography

Tomasz Sosnowski

PhD in economics, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Sociology at the University of Lodz, Poland.

Anna Wawryszuk-Misztal

PhD in economics, Assistant Professor at the Department of Corporate Finance and Accounting at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland.


  1. Afzali, M., Silvola, H., & Terjesen, S. (2021). Social Capital and board gender diversity. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 30(4), 461-481.
  2. Allemand, I., Barbe, O., & Brullebaut, B. (2014). Institutional theory and gender diversity on European boards. Vie & Sciences de l’Entreprise, 198(2), 73-92.
  3. Bennouri, M., Chtioui, T., Nagati, H., & Nekhili, M. (2018). Female board directorship and firm performance: What really matters?. Journal of Banking and Finance, 88, 267-291.
  4. Bohdanowicz, L. (2011). Zróżnicowanie organów statutowych pod względem płci a wyniki finansowe polskich spółek publicznych. Acta Universitatis Nicolai Copernici, Ekonomia, 42(1), 105-117.
  5. Brahma, S., Nwafor, C., & Boateng, A. (2021). Board gender diversity and firm performance: The UK evi-dence. International Journal of Finance and Economics, 26, 5704-5719. 1-16.
  6. Campbell, K., & Mínguez-Vera, A. (2008). Gender diversity in the boardroom and firm financial performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 83(3), 435-451.
  7. Carter, D.A., Simkins, B.J., & Simpson, W.G. (2003). Corporate Governance, Board Diversity, and Firm Value. Financial Review, 38, 33-53.
  8. Certo, S.T. (2003). Influencing Initial Public Offering Investors with Prestige: Signaling with Board Structures. The Academy of Management Review, 28(3), 432-446.
  9. Coleman, J.S. (1988), Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94, 95-120.
  10. Dang A.R., Houanti, L., Ammari, A., & Lê, N.T. (2018). Is there a ‘business case’ for board gender diversity within French listed SMEs. Applied Economics Letters, 25(14), 980-983.
  11. Dang, R., & Vo, L.C. (2012). Women on Corporate Boards of Directors: Theories, Facts and Analysis. In S. Boubaker & D.K. Nguyen (Eds.), Board Directors and Corporate Social Responsibility (pp. 30-21). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  12. Davis, J.H., Schoorman, F.D., & Donaldson, L. (1997). Toward a Stewardship Theory of Management. The Academy of Management Review, 22(1), 20-47.
  13. DiMaggio, P.J., & Powell, W.W. (1983). The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147-160.
  14. Directive (EU) 2022/2381 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 November 2022 on improving the gender balance among directors of listed companies and related measures. Text with EEA relevance, (Official Journal of the European Union, L 315/44, 7.12.2022).
  15. Duppati, G., Rao, N.V., Matlani, N., Scrimgeour, F., & Patnaik, D. (2020). Gender diversity and firm performance: evidence from India and Singapore. Applied Economics, 52(14), 1553-1565.
  16. Erhardt, N., Werbel, J., & Shrader, C. (2003). Board of Director Diversity and Firm Financial Performance. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 11, 102-111.
  17. Fama, E., & Jensen, M. (1983). Agency Problems and Residual Claims. The Journal of Law & Economics, 26(2), 327-349.
  18. Grosvold, J., Brammer, S., & Rayton, B. (2007). Board diversity in the United Kingdom and Norway: an ex-ploratory analysis. Business Ethics: A European Review, 16(4), 344-357.
  19. Gyapong, E., & Afrifa, G.A. (2019). The simultaneous disclosure of shareholder and stakeholder corporate governance practices and their antecedents. International Journal of Finance and Economics, 24(1), 260-287.
  20. Hambrick, D.C., & Mason, P.A. (1984). Upper Echelons: The Organization as a Reflection of Its Top Managers. The Academy of Management Review, 9(2), 193-206.
  21. Hedija, V., & Němec, D. (2021). Gender diversity in leadership and firm performance: Evidence from the Czech Republic. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 22(1), 156-180.
  22. Hillman, A.J., Canella, A.A., & Harris, I.C. (2002). Women and racial minorities in the boardroom: How do directors differ? Journal of Management, 28(6), 747-763.
  23. Hoobler, J.M., Masterson, C.R., Nkomo, S.M., & Michel, E.J. (2018). The Business Case for Women Leaders: Meta-Analysis, Research Critique, and Path Forward. Journal of Management, 44(6), 2473-2499.
  24. Isidro, H., & Sobral, M. (2015). The Effects of Women on Corporate Boards on Firm Value, Financial Performance, and Ethical and Social Compliance. Journal of Business Ethics, 132(1), 1-19.
  25. Janošová, L., & Mikuš, P.A. (2018). Relationship between gender and age diversity among board members and firm performance. In J. Nesleha, F. Hampl, & M. Svoboda (Eds.), 15th International Scientific Confer-ence on European Financial Systems 2018 (pp. 202-209). Brno: Masaryk University.
  26. Jensen, M.C., & Meckling, W.H. (1976). Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics, 3(4), 305-360.
  27. Kagzi, M., & Guha, M. (2018). Does board demographic diversity influence firm performance? Evidence from Indian-knowledge intensive firms. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 25(3), 1028-1058.
  28. Kılıç, M., & Kuzey, C. (2016). The effect of board gender diversity on firm performance: evidence from Turkey. Gender in Management: An International Journal, 31(7), 434-455.
  29. Kompa, K., & Witkowska, D. (2017). Czy obecność kobiet w kierownictwie wpływa na rentowność kapitału własnego spółek notowanych na GPW?. Zarządzanie i Finanse, 15(3), 5-20.
  30. Liu, Y., Wei, Z., & Xie, F. (2014). Do women directors improve firm performance in China?. Journal of Corpo-rate Finance, 28, 169-184.
  31. Loy, T.R., & Rupertus, H. (2022). How Does the Stock Market Value Female Directors?. International Evidence. Business and Society, 61(1), 117-154.
  32. Marinova, J., Plantenga, J., & Remery, C. (2016). Gender diversity and firm performance: evidence from Dutch and Danish boardrooms. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(15), 1777-1790.
  33. Marquez-Cardenas, V., Gonzalez-Ruiz, J.D., & Duque-Grisales, E. (2022). Board gender diversity and firm performance: evidence from Latin America. Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment, 12(3), 785-808.
  34. Miller, T., & Del Carmen Triana, M. (2009). Demographic diversity in the boardroom: Mediators of the board diversity-firm performance relationship. Journal of Management Studies, 46(5), 755-786.
  35. Mincer, J. (1958). Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution. Journal of Political Econo-my, 66(4), 281-302.
  36. Mínguez-Vera, A., & Martin, A. (2011). Gender and management on Spanish SMEs: An empirical analysis. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(14), 2852-2873.
  37. Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. (1978). The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. New York: Harper & Row.
  38. Pletzer, J.L., Nikolova, R., Kedzior, K.K., & Voelpel, S.C. (2015). Does gender matter? Female representation on corporate boards and firm financial performance - A meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 10(6), 1-20.
  39. Post, C., & Byron, K. (2015). Women on boards and firm financial performance: A meta-analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 58(5), 1546-1571.
  40. Pucheta-Martínez, M.C., Bel-Oms, I., & Olcina-Sempere, G. (2016). Corporate governance, female directors and quality of financial information. Business Ethics, 25(4), 363-385.
  41. Qu, W., Ee, M.S., Liu, L., Wise, V., & Carey, P. (2015). Corporate governance and quality of forward-looking information Evidence from the Chinese stock market. Asian Review of Accounting, 23(1), 39-67.
  42. Randøy, T., Thomsen, S., & Oxelheim, L. (2006). A Nordic perspective on corporate board diver. Paper Pre-sented at European International Business Academy Annual Conference, Fribourg.
  43. Reguera-Alvarado, N., de Fuentes, P., & Laffarga, J. (2017). Does Board Gender Diversity Influence Financial Performance? Evidence from Spain. Journal of Business Ethics, 141(2), 337-350.
  44. Rose, C. (2007). Does female board representation influence firm performance? The Danish evidence. Corpo-rate Governance: An International Review, 15(2), 404-413.
  45. Rose, C., Munch-Madsen, P., & Funch, M. (2013). Does board diversity really matter? Gender does not, but citizenship does. International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, 8(1), 15-27.
  46. Sabatier, M. (2015). A women’s boom in the boardroom: effects on performance?. Applied Economics, 47(26), 2717-2727.
  47. Schultz, T.W. (1961). Investment in Human Capital. The American Economic Review, 51(5), 1035-1039.
  48. Shauki, E.R., & Oktavini, E. (2022). Earnings Management and Annual Report Readability: The Moderating Effect of Female Directors. International Journal of Financial Studies, 10(73),
  49. Singh, V., Point, S., Moulin, Y., & Davila, A. (2015). Legitimacy profiles of women directors on top French company boards. Journal of Management Development, 34(7), 803-820.
  50. Singh, V., Terjesen, S., & Vinnicombe, S. (2008). Newly appointed directors in the boardroom: How do wom-en and men differ?. European Management Journal, 26(1), 48-58.
  51. Solanas, A., Selvam, R.M., Navaro, J., & Leiva, D. (2012). Some common indices of group diversity: Upper boundaries. Psychological Reports, 111(3), 777-796.
  52. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J.C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W.G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 33-37). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  53. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J.C. (1986). The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behavior. In S. Worchel & W.G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of Intergroup Relation (pp. 7-24). Chicago: Hall Publishers.
  54. Terjesen, S., Couto, E.B., & Francisco, P.M. (2016). Does the presence of independent and female directors impact firm performance? A multi-country study of board diversity. Journal of Management and Govern-ance, 20(3), 447-483.
  55. Turner, J.C. (1985). Social categorization and the self-concept: A social cognitive theory of group behavior. In E.J. Lawler (Ed.), Advances in group processes: Theory and research (pp. 77-121). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
  56. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). 2020. Human Development Report 2020: The Next Fron-tier: Human Development and the Anthropocene. New York.
  57. Vafaei, A., Ahmed, K., & Mather, P. (2015). Board Diversity and Financial Performance in the Top 500 Aus-tralian Firms. Australian Accounting Review, 25(4), 413-427.
  58. Valaskova, K., Gajdosikova, D., & Pavic, T.K. (2022). How Important Is the Business Environment for the Per-formance of Enterprises? Case Study of Selected European Countries. Central European Business Review, 11(4), 85-110.
  59. Valls Martínez, M. del C., & Cruz Rambaud, S. (2019). Women on corporate boards and firm’s financial per-formance. Women’s Studies International Forum, 76(July), 102251.
  60. Velte, P. (2016). Women on management board and ESG performance. Journal of Global Responsibility, 7(1), 98-109.


Download data is not yet available.