CEO gender and its impact on profitability, growth and volatility in Norwegian startups
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- Master of Science 
Abstract There has been a lot of discussion on CEO gender and its impact on firm performance, growth and volatility. This paper examines whether Norwegian female-led startups financially underperform, grow slower and are less volatile than male-led. More specifically, this research analyses if there are differences between startups five years after foundation and whether differences in industries have an effect. The analysis is based on a cross-sectional regression including 2 267 Norwegian companies led by both genders from 2005 until 2019. We find evidence that female-led startups grow faster in total assets, even after adjusting for industry differences. Nevertheless, male-led startups outperform in terms of ROA only after adjusting for industries. Further, female CEOs prove to have no impact on all remaining profitability and growth measures, even after adjusting for industries. Finally, CEO gender proves to have no effect on the volatility in operating income, with results remaining equal after industry adjustments. These findings demonstrate that there does not appear to be much evidence for the standard perceptions of female-led startups growing slower or performing worse than male-led startups.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Finance - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2022