By analyzing the literature regarding the peculiarities of the Corporate Governance (CG) structure and their impact on the companies’ performance, it is possible to understand that the characteristics of the CG, especially of the Board of Directors (BoDs), strongly affect companies. Particularly, it is renowned that the diversity of members, as well as their identity, can influence the obtainable results. Among all different kinds of diversity, the gender element was chosen in the present work, because although it has been studied by several scholars, its relationship with the companies’ performance still remains partially unexplored. Furthermore, other important personal characteristics of members of BoD are considered in the present study, in line with how it is represented in both organizational and professional identity theories. Starting from another work done by the authors (Tutino et al., Corporate governance, CSR and financial performances: what types of relationships exist between these dimensions? In: Corporate governance: search for the advanced practices, pp 231–240. https://doi.org/10.22495/cpr19p12, 2019), where was studied what characteristics of BoD could influence the performance, the aim of this paper is to analyze the diversity of the BoD’ members, with the focus on gender, as well as to verify if in the world of “women in business,” some characteristics (as knowledge, skills, personal characteristics, level of education) are determinant and influence the thought process of directors and how they make decisions, which can impact strategy formulation, therefore the performance of companies. AQ1 To understand how the personal features of the members of BoD could be more perceivable regarding both the financial and CSR policies, the work is carried out using quantitative analysis on the data of the most capitalized Italian listed companies on December 28, 2018. The findings demonstrated that the ones who are more interested on the topic of sustainability inside the Board are women that have recently joined the board, whose education is in the area of engineering. On the other hand, the members that give more attention to financial performance are men that have been on the board for a long period, despite their age, who belong to the audit associate profession. The value of the present work is represented by the possibility of bridging the gap highlighted above, with reference to the relationship between the corporate governance structure and company performance. Another important aspect brought to light by this study concerns the specific characteristics of the board members that most influence strategic decisions and therefore performances.
Paoloni, M., Tutino, M., Mattei, G., Paoloni, N. (2020). Gender and Identity of BoD Members: The Influence on CSR and Financial Performance. In P.P. Rosa Lombardi (a cura di), Gender Studies, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital (pp. 89-114). Springer [10.1007/978-3-030-46874-3].