Does a female director in the boardroom affect sustainability reporting in the U.S. healthcare industry?

Hani Alkayed, Esam Shehadeh, Ibrahim Yousef, Khaled Hussainey

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In this in-depth study, we explored the nuanced dynamics of boardroom gender diversity and its consequential impact on sustainability reporting within the U.S. Healthcare sector. Leveraging a comprehensive dataset from Refinitiv Eikon, our analysis spanned a spectrum of 646 observations across 57 healthcare entities listed in the S&P 500, covering the period from 2010 to 2021. Our methodology combined various empirical techniques to dissect correlations, unravel heterogeneity, and account for potentially omitted variables. Central to our findings is the discovery that various metrics of board gender diversity, such as the proportion of female directors and the Blau and Shannon diversity indices, exhibit a robust and positive correlation with the intensity and quality of sustainability reporting. This correlation persists even when controlling for a multitude of factors, including elements of corporate governance (such as board size, independence, and meeting attendance), as well as intrinsic firm characteristics (such as size, profitability, growth potential, and leverage). The presence of female directors appears to not only bolster the breadth and depth of sustainability reporting but also align with a broader perspective that their inclusion in boardrooms significantly influences corporate reporting practices. These insights extend beyond academic discourse by offering tangible and actionable intelligence for policymakers and corporate decision-makers. By elucidating the intrinsic value of gender diversity in governance, our study contributes a compelling argument for bolstering female representation in leadership roles as a catalyst for enhanced corporate responsibility and stakeholder engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Risk and Financial Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2024


  • gender diversity
  • sustainability reporting
  • healthcare industry
  • environmental, social, and governance (ESG)

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