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Keywords:

  • women in leadership;
  • women's career mobility;
  • industry gender composition

Abstract

This study examines whether the appointment of women into senior leadership positions has a more positive effect on share price than the appointment of men into equivalent positions. Our dependent variable is the degree of change in share price following the announcement of men and women into senior leadership positions. Although market reactions to corporate events represent a complex process, we argue that changes in stock price represent a barometer for how investors assess the decision's potential effect on a corporation's short- and long-term economic viability. We find a significant spike in stock price following the announcement of women into top leadership positions. The size and direction of change in stock price, however, is moderated by the gender composition of the industry. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.