“Women in leading corporate positions and credit risk: Evidence from Italian firms”

by Alessandro Manello, Greta Falavigna, Eleonora Isaia, Mariacristina Rossi; CeRP WP N. 201/20Abstract
The present paper aims to analyse whether the presence of women in leading positions can affect the risk profile of a firm. We provide new and more robust empirical evidence that there is a negative relationship between female participation in the top management and credit risk. We focus on a large and representative sample of Italian manufacturing firms, and we extract data on directors and top managers as well as rating classes and credit score indicators. We provide evidence of a significant credit risk reduction associated with the inclusion of women among the top managers of the firm, using a fixed effects model. Our results are robust to different model specifications and estimation strategies. We also find different magnitudes for the impact, with a greater impact associated with smaller firms.

published: May 2020