Is it the mere female directors or their attributes that matter for the quality of corporate sustainability disclosures?

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This study aims to inquire whether it is the mere female directors or their certain attributes that improve the quality of corporate sustainability disclosures (QCSD). Annual and sustainability reports are used to obtain data for 300 non-financial Pakistani listed companies selected through stratified random sampling for the period 2012–2021. The study employed ordinary least squares with panel-corrected standard errors to test research hypotheses. The findings that neither support “tokenism” nor “critical mass” assumptions revealed that firms with female directors on the board, regardless of how many, have better QCSD than others. Similarly, the proportion of female directors on the board and audit committee also showed a positive association with QCSD. The positive role of independent female directors and their experience was slightly more pronounced than the executive female directors and their experience in improving QCSD. Likewise, the positive effect of female directors' business-related education was marginally higher than their non-business education in improving QCSD. Furthermore, female directors' master's or above level of education had a significant positive, while their bachelor's or below level of education had no significant association with QCSD. The study offers several theoretical and practical implications.

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Business Strategy and the Environment



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