Kasper Meisner Nielsen

Do gender quotas change attitudes towards female directors?


This study examines whether gender quotas change attitudes towards female directors in India, the largest emerging market to introduce a gender quota. Mandated appointments of female directors lead to 
a lower firm value resulting from firms expanding their board size. After the reform, firms are 19 
percentage points more likely to appoint female independent directors voluntarily. Such appointments are 
associated with positive stock price reactions. The gender gap in director remuneration decreases from 
20% to 5% around the reform. Overall, our results suggest that gender quotas can change the attitude 
towards female directors, allowing firms to tap into a larger talent pool.