The monitoring role of female directors over accounting quality Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2017

start page

  • 651

end page

  • 668

volume

  • 45

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0929-1199

abstract

  • Recent research in accounting suggests female directors exert more stringent monitoring overthe financial reporting process than their male counterparts. However, an emerging literaturein finance and economics provides mixed findings and questions whether females in leadershiproles significantly differ from their male counterparts. Building on this literature, we re-exam-ine the link between the presence of female directors, gender biases, and financial statementsquality. Using a large sample of UK firms we find that a larger percentage of women amongindependent directors is significantly associated with lower earnings management practices.However, we show that this relation disappears if we focus on firms that do not discriminateagainst women in the access to directorships. Finally, we provide evidence that gender biasesare associated with lower earnings quality. We interpret our results as consistent with (1)prior evidence that males and females do not differ substantially when performing the samerole in highly sp ecialized positions, and with (2) discr imination being an important factorexplaining the association between female directors and accounting quality