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International Journal of Disclosure and Governance ; 20(2):155-167, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2313547


This paper examines whether gender diversity (GD) on corporate boards influences financial performance (FP) of Indian firms using System Generalized Methods of Moments (GMM) methods by considering panel data of 364 firms during 2017 to 2021, comprising of 1820 firm-year observations. The study reveals that the mere presence of a woman director (WD) on boards makes no difference in financial performance. Presence of WDs as a significant portion of the boards and their active roles in the functioning and governance of companies positively contribute to firms' financial performances and economic value creation. Regarding other governance parameters, the study shows that larger boards do not necessarily improve firm performance. Also, independent directors do not necessarily add value to corporate performance and value creation. While a higher promoter's stake is an important factor for Indian companies to drive corporate performance, firms with separate CEO and chairperson outperform firms with CEO duality. The study also reveals that the covid 19 pandemic has negatively influenced the financial performance and economic profit generation of the Indian firms. This study is important for several reasons. First, this study considers the period (2017–2021) when Indian companies adopted new financial reporting practices (IND-AS) in line with International Financial Reporting System (IFRS), the mandatory quota system of women directors' appointment is implemented and new corporate governance norms are implemented. Hence, our study contributes to the literature by proving meaningful insights on the role of gender diversity and other corporate governance parameters on financial performance of Indian firms in the light of newly adopted accounting and financial reporting practices. Second, few previous India based studies have mostly used pooled OLS or fixed effect models, and did not address the endogeneity problem in different forms like Dynamic Endogeneity, Simultaneity, and Unobserved Heterogeneity. This paper addresses the endogeneity problem appropriately by using the system generalized method of moments (GMM) while modelling the relation between WDs and firms' FP. Therefore, the findings of this study are more reliable and unbiased and can be useful for effective policy making on gender diversity and corporate governance issues. Third, few prior studies which have looked into the role of WDs on FP of Indian firms, have mostly used return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE) and Tobin's Q as performance parameters. Here, in addition to ROA, ROE and Tobin's Q, we also use economic value added (EVA) as indicators of corporate performance to understand the role of WDs on economic value creation for companies. The EVA is considered as modern technique to measure the economic profit earned by a firm, and it has gained huge popularity among companies as an improved technique for measuring financial performance for companies. To the best of our knowledge, the role of WDs on economic value creation by firms has not been investigated before particularly in the Indian context. This is another unique contribution of this study. Fourth, the Covid 19 pandemic had impacted global economy severely and India was no exception. Financial performances of most Indian firms were negatively impacted due to the nationwide lockdown and uncertainties about production, revenue and earnings. This study considers both the pre and post Covid 19 pandemic period in examining our central research question using a year dummy. Therefore, our study also captures whether the covid 19 pandemic has actually impacted the financial performance of Indian firms, while modelling this relation. This is another valuable and unique contribution of this study to the literature. The findings of this study provide an understanding of how board gender diversity and other governance parameters influence financial performance of Indian firms in an emerging market context. The outcomes are also explained and aligned with the relevant policy implications in th light of recent Indian corporate governance norms and policies. These findings are useful to the companies and policymakers, as they can use these findings while designing effective boards, which can be useful in improving firm performance. Board of directors, investors, regulators, and policymakers can effectively use these findings to understand how gender diverse boards and other corporate governance parameters influence firms' financial performance under the concentrated ownership pattern.