bigstock-Closeup-of-an-empty-conference-47948192-board-boardroom-boardroom chairs-boardroom vacancyThere is a positive correlation between women serving on a company’s board of directors and a firm’s financial performance, according to new research from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

Specifically, researchers Kris Byron and Corinne Post looked at aggregated results from 140 studies concerning female board representation and a company’s financial performance. While they determined that female board representation did not directly tie into market performance, it could still be positively connected to a company’s accounting returns.

Put a different way, countries with high gender equality saw a positive relationship between having female board members and company financial performance. There was a negative relationship in countries that had lower gender parity, the researchers noted.

What’s more, the link between women on a board of directors and accounting returns became stronger in countries with more rigorous shareholder protections, the researchers said. Why would this be? That’s a matter of speculation, but the researchers surmised that shareholder protections enable boards to rely more readily on individual members’ knowledge and experience.

Byron is associate professor and chair of the department of management at the Whitman School. Post teaches at Lehigh University, the Whitman School said on its news website. The study has been accepted for publication by the Academy of Management Journal.

Source: Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University