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Gender diversity and corporate risk-taking: a literature review

João Teodósio (School of Management and Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Santarém, Portugal)
Elisabete Vieira (Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)
Mara Madaleno (Department of Economics Management and Industrial Engineering, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Article publication date: 26 February 2021

Issue publication date: 29 June 2021




The investigation of the relationship between gender diversity and corporate risk-taking is a recent stream of research. In this study, the authors propose an answer to the following main question: What do the authors know about gender effects in corporate risk-taking and how should we proceed?


In order to ensure the quality and the objectiveness of the literature review, the authors selected articles published in journals that are simultaneously ranked by the Chartered Association of Business Schools (ABS, 2018) and by the Journal Citation Reports (JCR, 2018), focused on the Board of Directors (BoD) and Top Management Teams (TMT).


The literature review reveals that women's presence on the BoD and TMT impacts corporate risk-taking in different ways. Based on the analysis, it is possible to organize the extant findings in two major categories, according to gender measures, firm type and country of origin: (1) universal effects – women decrease firms' litigation risk, failure risk and operational risk while they have no significant effect on insolvency risk and; (2) contingent effects – women have contingent effects on financial risk, manipulation risk, total risk, idiosyncratic risk and systematic risk.


Covering several different research fields, this study provides a comprehensive review concerning what the authors know regarding the effects of the BoD and TMT gender diversity in corporate risk-taking. The authors present a model summarizing empirical findings and propose a number of avenues for future research.



This work was financially supported by the research unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policy (UIDB/04058/2020), and by the project UIDB/04928/2020, both funded by national funds through FCT - Fundação para a Cieência e a Tecnologia. The authors would like to thank the anonymous referees and the editor for their valuable insights.


Teodósio, J., Vieira, E. and Madaleno, M. (2021), "Gender diversity and corporate risk-taking: a literature review", Managerial Finance, Vol. 47 No. 7, pp. 1038-1073.



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