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Shareholder activism and gender bias

Wednesday 17 March 2021, 12.30PM to 1.30 pm

Speaker(s): Jana Fidrmuk (WBS)

Host: Kostas Koufopoulos

Abstract: This study uses US shareholder activism data to show consistent evidence that shareholder activists are significantly more likely to target female rather than male CEOs. Also, activist investors tend to employ more hostile tactics when launching campaigns against female CEOs. We show that the gender-targeting differences are more consistent with a bias rather than particular characteristics of female CEOs. First, we refute an alternative explanation that female CEOs are targeted due to their higher stakeholder orientation that may harm shareholder interests. Second, the market does not react more positively to activism events that target firms with female CEOs. In fact, more hostile campaigns against female CEOs are met with a negative market reaction. Finally, we show that long-term prospects of female CEOs are not worse three years after targeting, while male CEOs suffer negative long-term effects of activist targeting.


Location: ZOOM (details to follow)

Admission: All welcome