University of Twente Student Theses


The impact of CEO gender on environmental sustainability strategies in businesses

Gänsler, T. K. J. (2020) The impact of CEO gender on environmental sustainability strategies in businesses.

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Abstract:Both gender diversity in top management teams and the implementation of environmental sus-tainability strategies are topics of increasing importance for corporate agendas. The pressure by society for businesses to place sustainability in the focus of practices is increasing. This master thesis investigates the impact of CEO gender on environmental sustainability strate-gies, to find out to what extent gender stereotypes and social role theory affect the formulation of green strategies among the executive board. The research question “To what extent does CEO gender have an impact on the adoption of environmentally sustain-able practices among for-profit businesses in developed countries?” is answered based on a panel dataset contain-ing 412 companies from the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 indices. A random effects model was used to model the data containing observations from 2015-2019, including data on environ-mental sustainability obtained from the Thomson Reuters Eikon database. The analysis shows an overall increase of environmental sustainability scores throughout the years in the observation for all industry sectors. However, a connection between CEO gender and environmental sustainability strategies could not be found. Nevertheless, the results indi-cate a link between executive member gender diversity and environmental sustainability. This finding highlights the importance of gender diversity among the executive team and empha-sises the significance of the critical mass theory for female representation in leadership. Con-sequently, management is advised to promote diversity through policy initiatives specifically targeting gender diversity throughout all organisational levels. This will likely not only have a positive impact on the number of female chief executive officers for the future. Through an increased awareness for environmental sustainability concerns among women, it is also likely to secure future business success based on the consumer buying behaviour evolving to-wards more sustainable choices.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
TU Berlin, Berlin, Deutschland
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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