Finance faculty member, doctoral student publish on gender in the C-suite

Mike Ilitch School of Business Professor of Finance Mai Datta and graduating Ph.D. candidate Trang Doan have had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance (JAAF) titled "Does Gender in the C-Suite Really Matter?" 

JAAF, peer-reviewed and published quarterly, is a resource for accounting and auditing researchers, faculty and students. Along with the exploratory and innovative works in TRACKS, JAAF offers valuable insights into developments in accounting and related fields, such as finance, economics and operations.

Abstract

This study empirically tests the implications of five theories on the importance of gender in the C-suite, employing two different settings. Specifically, we examine the impact of gender of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on the stock price response at the appointment of the executive and on post-hiring firm performance. The results from both tests are in support of the notion that female executives are less overconfident, but not less risk-averse, than their male counterparts. Particularly, we find that investors respond relatively less (more) favorably to the appointment of female CFOs compared to that of male CFOs at firms characterized by high (low) uncertainty. Further, the evidence also shows that female CFOs significantly improve operating performance at firms operating in low volatility settings. The enhanced firm performance can be attributed to reduction in costs and enhanced efficiency of working capital management. The findings are robust to a battery of robustness checks.