Board Gender Diversity, Network and Firms’ Performance in the Italian Listed Companies

  •  Francesca di Donato    
  •  Delio Panaro    
  •  Sara Trucco    


The paper aims at analysing the effect of women serving on the boards of directors, especially after the introduction of gender minority (Law 120/2011 and Consob n. 18098/2012), and the network ties on boardrooms on the overall firms’ performance in the Italian context. Gender minority is defined as the percentage of women on the board of directors, whereas the network ties represent companies which are connected through shared board members. To do this, we selected a sample of industrial Italian listed companies during the period 2011-2013 and we downloaded the mandatory reports of corporate governance of each firm in our sample time period in order to extract the components of the board of directors and their characteristics. We performed a set of regression analysis to evaluate whether the participation of women in the firm’s board of directors and the presence of connections among boardrooms enhance the financial performance measured through Tobin’s Q and Return On Asset (ROA). Empirical results contribute to extend scientific literature about this topic and to provide interesting practical contributions on the role of gender minority and the connections among companies on firms’ performance. Parallel, this research develops topics related to text mining (that is the automatic extraction of quantitative information from text-documents) referring to all the firms’ disclosures, produced in the Italian language.

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