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Gender, Performance and Governance in Microfinance Institutions Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Gender, Performance and Governance in Microfinance Institutions

Gender, Performance and Governance in Microfinance Institutions

Summary

The paper investigates the relationships between female leadership, firm performance and corporate governance in a global panel of 379 microbanks in 73 countries. The microfinance industry is particularly suited to study the impact of female leadership on governance and
performance because of its newness, market orientation, diverse institutional conditions and high percentage of female leaders. We find that female leadership is significantly associated with larger boards, younger firms, a non-commercial legal status and more female clientele.  Furthermore we find that a female CEO and a female chairman are positively related to microbank performance, but this result is driven by MFIs' female market orientation rather than by improved governance.

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