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

publication date

  • August 2017

start page

  • 651

end page

  • 668


  • 45

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0929-1199


  • Recent research in accounting suggests female directors exert more stringent monitoring over
    the financial reporting process than their male counterparts. However, an emerging literature
    in finance and economics provides mixed findings and questions whether females in leadership
    roles significantly differ from their male counterparts. Building on this literature, we re-examine
    the link between the presence of female directors, gender biases, and financial statements
    quality. Using a large sample of UK firms we find that a larger percentage of women among
    independent directors is significantly associated with lower earnings management practices.
    However, we show that this relation disappears if we focus on firms that do not discriminate
    against women in the access to directorships. Finally, we provide evidence that gender biases
    are 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 same
    role in highly specialized positions, and with (2) discrimination being an important factor
    explaining the association between female directors and accounting quality.


  • Business
  • Economics


  • gender diversity; board of directors; accounting quality; earnings management; corporate governance