China report finds women CEOs more likely to lead on green policies
Companies led by female CEOs are more likely to voluntarily adopt sustainable environmental policies, an analysis of 350 Chinese-listed firms in high-pollution industries has found. The study, which covered businesses listed on the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges between 2008 and 2018, also suggested that having more female board members made it easier for woman leaders to make environmentally friendly decisions. The research found that companies led by women tended to take actions which favoured the environment, such as reducing emissions of greenhouse gas and waste gas, water and residue. Their findings were published in October in the peer-reviewed journal Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. “As stakeholders increasingly demand environmental protection initiatives, our findings highlight the important role of gender in engaging firms in environmentally responsible activities,” wrote the team, from Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian, Shaanxi province. Lead author Zhang Ying, from the university’s school of management, said the paper supports former chairman Mao Zedong’s saying “women hold up half the sky”. “This paper can assist policymakers and board members in drafting the relevant legislation for promoting women to corporate leadership positions, so as to provide social and environmental benefits for stakeholders and society,” she said.