Presentation Title

Gender Diversity on US Corporate Boards and its Impact on Sustainable Reporting

Abstract

Nonfinancial aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) are of increasing interest to stakeholders as the desire for transparency, effectiveness, and long-term value creation within companies grows. As a result, research into what increases the quality of a sustainability report has grown in tandem. Board diversity is one of the factors considered in relation to sustainability report quality. Prior studies conclude that greater board diversity is related to a higher quality sustainability report. However, most research does not focus on what aspect(s) of board diversity impacts the quality. Furthermore, most research focuses on sustainability reporting in its broadest form, overlooking some important subsections. With this in mind, my research focuses on how board gender diversity impacts environmental, social, and the combined impact of these two on the content of a company’s sustainability report. My research also extends prior work by including both the sustainability report as well as the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) of Form 10-Ks. Different from the prior research findings, I find that board gender diversity does not positively relate to the content of a company’s sustainability report or MD&A. These results provide an interesting contradiction to the rest of the field.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Susan Hughes

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Grossman School of Business

Program/Major

Accounting

Primary Research Category

Professional Studies

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Gender Diversity on US Corporate Boards and its Impact on Sustainable Reporting

Nonfinancial aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) are of increasing interest to stakeholders as the desire for transparency, effectiveness, and long-term value creation within companies grows. As a result, research into what increases the quality of a sustainability report has grown in tandem. Board diversity is one of the factors considered in relation to sustainability report quality. Prior studies conclude that greater board diversity is related to a higher quality sustainability report. However, most research does not focus on what aspect(s) of board diversity impacts the quality. Furthermore, most research focuses on sustainability reporting in its broadest form, overlooking some important subsections. With this in mind, my research focuses on how board gender diversity impacts environmental, social, and the combined impact of these two on the content of a company’s sustainability report. My research also extends prior work by including both the sustainability report as well as the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) of Form 10-Ks. Different from the prior research findings, I find that board gender diversity does not positively relate to the content of a company’s sustainability report or MD&A. These results provide an interesting contradiction to the rest of the field.