The Real Effects of Mandating Gender Diversity Disclosures
Abstract: In this paper the real effects of mandatory non-financial disclosures are examined. More specifically, the effect the Directive 2014/95/EU has on the share of female directors in Swedish companies' boards. The directive obliges certain large firms to disclose board diversity information as of 2017, with the purpose to put indirect pressure on corporations to have more diversified boards. The data sample consists of 353,532 firm-year observations between the years of 2010-2019 and includes 60,725 unique firms. Using a difference-in-difference research design, we find that firms that are subject to the mandatory disclosure requirement increase the share of women on their board at the time of when the directive became effective. The results indicate that a widespread disclosure mandate such as the EU Directive, adopted in Sweden, has real effects at the time of enforcement.
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