Do Women On Boards And In Top Management Reduce Earnings Management? Evidence In France

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Faten Lakhal
Amal Aguir
Nadia Lakhal
Adnane Malek


Gender Diversity, Earnings Management, Top Management, CEO, CFO


The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of gender diversity on the boardroom and in top management positions on earnings management by French-listed firms. Based on a sample of 170 firms over 4 years, we find that the proportion of women on the board standing as a director or a chair reduces earnings management. This finding suggests that women are effective on their monitoring role and are then considered as a crucial corporate governance device. We also find that the relationship between the presence of at least three women on the board and earnings management is negative suggesting that by increasing the number of women on board through regulation and legislation, French firms are likely to enhance the effectiveness of the board to better detect earnings management. However, women standing in CEO and CFO positions do not affect earnings management practices. These findings suggest that efforts made by political bodies to promote equality between men and women on boards are beneficial for French-listed companies by limiting earnings management practices. However, regulating or imposing a quota of women on boards can create a temporal shortage of qualified women available to take up such positions.


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