By the sample of all public-listed companies on the Taiwan stock market over the period from 2000 to 2016, our study examines the effect of board gender diversity on firm performance, R&D investments and cash holding. Our findings appear a positive relationship between the proportions of female board members and firm performance, and the percentage of cash holding, respectively. Also, we show a negative relationship between the proportions of female board members and R&D investments. After addressing the potential endogeneity and casual relationships by instrumental variables and structural equation estimation, respectively, the documented relations remain. Moreover, by clustering the sample into family, non-family firms, conglomerates and non-conglomerates, we find that the positive (negative) relationship between the proportions of female board members and firm performance (R&D investments) is stronger in family (non-family) firms and non-conglomerates. Meanwhile, the proportions of female board members have a more significantly positive relationship with the percentage of cash holding in family firms and conglomerates. Overall our findings indicate that firms with more gender-diverse boards have better operational performance, engage in fewer R&D activities, and face a lower risk of capital need; these effects, however, vary among different holding company structures.
women directors, firm performance, R&D investments, cash holding, family firms and conglomerates