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Gender differences and audit committee diligence

Sheela Thiruvadi (Department of Accounting, Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 17 August 2012

2281

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between the presence of females on the audit committee and the number of audit committee meetings.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a multivariate regression model to examine the association between gender on the audit committee and the number of audit committee meetings used as a proxy for audit committee diligence. The paper uses a sample of 254 firms from the S&P SmallCap600, with a December 31, 2003 fiscal year‐end.

Findings

The author finds consistent evidence to show that audit committees with at least one female director were likely to meet more often than all‐male audit committees.

Research limitations/implications

Future research suggests that it may be fruitful to examine the effects of gender on other aspects of audit committee and board activities and the interaction between audit committees, management, and the external auditor. Furthermore, the results of the paper have strong implications for regulators and policy makers, since the presence of a female director on the audit committee may bring many positive outcomes, thereby leading to better corporate governance practices. Hence, the appointment of more females on the audit committee should be strongly emphasized.

Originality/value

This research paper contributes to the contemporary literature regarding the increased awareness of good outcomes associated with having women on the audit committee in various ways. First, this research encourages the appointment of more females on the audit committee. Second, increased diligence of the audit committee leads to enhanced corporate governance practices. Third, the presence of females on the audit committee could lead to good corporate decision making. Fourth, the presence of a female on the audit committee could lead to increased confidence of the public. Fifth, this research also serves as an influencing power to encourage equal opportunities for both men and women.

Keywords

Citation

Thiruvadi, S. (2012), "Gender differences and audit committee diligence", Gender in Management, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 366-379. https://doi.org/10.1108/17542411211269310

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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