Gender-diverse boards get better performance on mergers and acquisitions

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Nivo Ravaonorohanta


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In recent years, the composition of boards, particularly the appointment of female directors to the boardroom has attracted significant political and social debate. Despite several studies that have examined links between the representation of women on boards and the corporate performance, research on the board gender diversity in merger contexts is limited. We assess whether the presence of women on corporate boards affects merger and acquisition (M&A) performance. Using acquisition bids by public Canadian companies during 2012-2017, we find that an increasing number of female directors in acquiring companies is associated with an enhanced merger performance and a reduced bid premium. After controlling for gender diversity on executive teams, the value added by having women on boards is particularly noticeable when acquiring firms have few women in the executive teams, and where overconfidence is prevalent. Thus, there is a substitutive relation between gender diversity on the board and gender diversity on the executive team.

Keywords: Board Gender Diversity, Executive Team, Merger and Acquisition, Value Creation, Managerial Overconfidence, Attitude Towards Risk, Lack of Fit Model

Authors’ individual contribution: The Author is responsible for all the contributions to the paper according to CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) standards.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: G34, M14, G14

Received: 02.05.2020
Accepted: 01.07.2020
Published online: 10.07.2020

How to cite this paper: Ravaonorohanta, N. (2020). Gender-diverse boards get better performance on mergers and acquisitions [Special issue]. Corporate Ownership & Control, 17(4), 222-233.