Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

W. Fielding Rubel School of Business



Major Advisor

Dr. Bradley Stevenson

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Selvy

Third Advisor

Dr. Hongwei Song


The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between gender diversity and firm financial performance, using a data set of 50 S&P 500 companies during 2015-2019. Gender diversity was measured through the percentage of women on the board and whether the board has a “critical mass” (of at least three women). In the results of the regression analyses, some significant relationships between variables were found. The regression between ROA and the percentage of women indicated a positive, significant relationship for ROA to the percentage of women. For the regression between ROA and the critical mass variable, no significant relationship was established. The results indicate that a critical mass may not be necessary for women to have a positive impact on a firm’s ROA. After trimming the data for outliers, a positive relationship was found between ROE and the percentage of women on the board. Consistent with other research, a positive relationship was also found between ROE and the critical mass variable.