Board gender diversity, power, and bank risk taking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Having female board members brings ethical/societal perspectives and new resources to decision making. However, there is lack of evidence on whether it mitigates bank excessive risk-taking; hence, this paper addresses this question. It complements the normative corporate governance literature by combining agency theory and approach/inhibition theory of power from social psychology. For a sample of 195 U.S. commercial banks during 2002–2018, banks invest in more risky assets when female directors perceive the positive rewards of risky investments (in banks that have larger regulatory capital ratios and/or are well-capitalized) and when power shifts away due to CEO equity ownership. On the other hand, banks invest in less risky positions when female directors perceive the penalties inherent in a risky investment during the financial crisis. This paper provides novel evidence on the effect of gender diversity, as a governance mechanism, on risk taking in a social-psychology context. It offers insights on the effect of gender diversity on bank riskiness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101733
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bank risk taking
  • Board gender diversity
  • Corporate governance
  • Female directorship
  • Power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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