Looking through the glass ceiling : women and power : leadership in Norwegian firms
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- Master of Science 
This paper examines two important factors that describe female leadership in Norwegian firms. First, the main determinants of having a female CEO, and, second, the impact a female CEO has on firm performance. In other words, the main question the paper raises is if women-led companies are distinguishable in any detectable and relevant way. I analyze the influence of women in the executive suite across different samples of firms (LTD, and PLC) and divided in two time periods (prior Norwegian gender quota 2000-2004, and post Norwegian quota 2005-2009). Results indicate that after the quota, the number of women in CEO positions had considerably increased which suggests that the reform had promoted women not only on the board level, but also on the CEO level. Moreover, the findings show that after the quota, women CEOs had become more dominant in certain industry sectors (such as financial and transportation sectors), obtaining higher salaries than men CEOs. Nevertheless, the present paper argues that having a woman CEO has a neutral or negative effect on the firm. There is no relevant evidence that there is a significant relationship between firm performance and women CEO’s characteristics. If previous researches such as Adler (2001) and Deszo & Ross (2008) show that female participation in the board of the company has a positive effect on firm performance, the present paper shows that not the same positive effect can be acclaimed when having a woman CEO.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Financial Economics - Handelshøyskolen BI,2013