We argue that female representation in top management brings informational and social diversity benefits to the top management team, enriches the behaviors exhibited by managers throughout the firm, and motivates women in middle management. The result should be improved managerial task performance and thus better firm performance. We test our theory using 15 years of panel data on the top management teams of the S&P 1,500 firms. We find that female representation in top management improves firm performance but only to the extent that a firm's strategy is focused on innovation, in which context the informational and social benefits of gender diversity and the behaviors associated with women in management are likely to be especially important for managerial task performance.
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Dezso, Cristian, and David Ross. "Does Female Representation in Top Management Improve Firm Performance? A Panel Data Investigation." Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 9 (September 2012): 1072-1089.