Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marc Massoud

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Rights Information

© 2016 Tooba Karim


This paper examines the relationship between female participation in top management and on corporate boards and firm financial performance. Over the last few decades, the presence of women in the labor force has increased drastically, but the same level of growth is not apparent in top management and on corporate boards. The impact women in top leadership positions have on firm value is investigated in this paper using financial measures of stock price growth, return on equity, and current ratio. The study finds that gender positively impacts financial performance. Additionally, the paper examines whether the presence of women affects acquisition-related activity in a company. Gender stereotyping leads to perceptions that women are less aggressive in business dealings than men are. This paper shows that there is no significant relationship between gender and aggression. Finally, I investigate the impact the presence of a female CEO or Chairman of the board has on the level of women in top leadership in the company. Current literature refers to a “glass ceiling” that occurs for women, which makes it difficult for them to get to the very top. The existence of male-dominated connections and networks might prohibit women from getting promoted. Does that change when the top leadership of the company is a woman? This research suggests that there is, in fact, a positive relationship between female leaders and female participation. This indicates the need for more mentorship and guidance for women as they progress through their careers, as well as a change in hiring policies. Procedures that take into consideration the talent that women have to offer could lead to improved financial success and increased female participation.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.