The work suggests a benefit of hiring women and improving the gender diversity of the staff.
Companies with more women in middle management produce less carbon than ones dominated by men, according to research published by the Bank for International Settlements.
The work suggests a benefit of hiring women and improving the gender diversity of the staff, not just at board level but throughout the business.
Analysis of 2,000 listed companies in 24 advanced economies from 2009 to 2019 showed that a 1-percentage point increase in the proportion of female managers was associated with a 0.5% decrease in carbon emissions.
"This effect is robust controlling for institutional differences due to culture and religion," said the researchers, Yener Altunbas, Leonardo Gambacorta, Alessio Reghezza and Giulio Velliscig. The BIS, which published the study, is a Swiss-based oversight institution for the world's central banks.
Previous research on the link between female board members and carbon emissions has produced "conflicting findings," the authors said. They looked below board level to the management structure.
There, they found that "female managers are more inclined towards environmental protection than their male peers." Managers are just as important to a company's climate approach as the board since they have to "select a suitable strategy to achieve the objectives."
To explain the findings, they cited other academic papers demonstrating that women are "more likely to consider overall societal well-being without focusing narrowly on shareholders' interest."
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