CEO Gender and Firm Performance amidst Covid

Proceedings of The 12th International Conference on New Ideas in Management, Economics and Accounting

Year: 2023



CEO Gender and Firm Performance amidst Covid

Tina Kaddoum, Juliane Proelss



In this paper, we examine whether female-led companies were able to recover faster during the COVID pandemic than male-led companies as the response of female leaders was different from that of male leaders. On the one hand research has found that female leaders were able to take quicker and more decisive responses compared to their male counterparts at the beginning of the pandemic; however, on the other hand females on average faced many challenges during the pandemic. Female leaders on average are document to be more responsive to stakeholder and employees needs as compared to male counterparts and thus were more inclined to change logistics to ensure the safety of her employees and keep their needs in forefronts, while still focusing on the company’s mission. This caused female leaders more than male leaders to cope with anxiety counteracting more decisive responses. This paper researches how the stock market saw how female and male leader reacted to the challenges. Using a sample of 470 U.S. companies, we find that male CEOs outperformed female CEOs. The company’s current ratio, size, P/E ratio, as well as the CEO’s age are all negatively correlated with the post-abnormal return of the firm. We also find that compensation can be positively correlated with the BHAR in certain event windows.

keywords: Firm performance, gender, COVID, CEOs