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Critical mass of female directors, human capital, and stakeholder engagement by corporate social reporting

María‐Florencia Amorelli and Isabel‐María García‐Sánchez

Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 2020, vol. 27, issue 1, 204-221

Abstract: This paper aims to examine two closely related issues: first, the effect of the presence of female directors on boards on corporate social responsibility disclosure, focusing on the necessary critical mass of this minority group, and, second, the moderation of the human capital of board members—their background, skills, and experience—that could favor the intrinsic female directors' characteristics through the cognitive effect of equal board members. For an international sample of 9,744 firm‐year observations from 2007 to 2016, different panel data regressions are proposed. The findings of this study reveal a positive impact of gender board diversity on voluntary socially responsible disclosure by examining the presence of at least three women on the board—the critical mass. Moreover, the paper reports a greater effect when the board's background, skills, and experience are greater. As a supplemental analysis, the evidence shows that the female role does not remain when women achieve the position of chairperson; that is, female directors adopt a male stereotype regarding voluntary information disclosure when they are also the chairperson of the firm, independently of the human capital of the board members.

Date: 2020
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Handle: RePEc:wly:corsem:v:27:y:2020:i:1:p:204-221