Purpose – The study examines the association between board gender diversity and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) disclosure from an international and longitudinal perspective. It also investigates the role of the Sustainability Committee (SC) as a possible factor that can mediate the relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure. Design/methodology/approach – The authors focused on the annual Communication on Progress (CoP) prepared annually by a sample of 526 companies from 39 countries and ten industry sectors along the 2017– 2020 period to evaluate the SDG disclosure. Baron and Kenny’s (1986) three-step model is estimated to test the impact of the presence of an SC on the SDG disclosure level and the mediating effect exerted by the SC on the relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure. Findings – Findings shed light on the usefulness of the CoP as an alternative reporting tool to communicate progress against SDGs achievement, especially regarding SDGs 13 and 8. This study evidences that board gender diversity positively influences SDG disclosure. The relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure is not only direct but also mediated by the presence of an SC. Research limitations/implications – Companies need to consider the role of women in enhancing the effectiveness of their governance mechanisms and their ability to meet stakeholder information needs. Establishing a specific SC represents a valid mechanism that ensures greater transparency about corporate actions tackled to contribute toward SDGs and enhances the relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure among International companies. Practical implications – The study’s findings offer stimuli for policy-makers and regulators to reflect on the relevance of the CoP as a possible alternative communication tool to provide SDGs information and overcome the limitations of the Sustainability Reports. Originality/value – This is the first study that examines companies’ SDG disclosure practices focusing on CoPs. Further, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that tests the relationship between gender diversity and SDG disclosure, considering the mediating effect of an SC committee.

Gender diversity and SDG disclosure: the mediating role of the sustainability committee

Nicolò, Giuseppe
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Purpose – The study examines the association between board gender diversity and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) disclosure from an international and longitudinal perspective. It also investigates the role of the Sustainability Committee (SC) as a possible factor that can mediate the relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure. Design/methodology/approach – The authors focused on the annual Communication on Progress (CoP) prepared annually by a sample of 526 companies from 39 countries and ten industry sectors along the 2017– 2020 period to evaluate the SDG disclosure. Baron and Kenny’s (1986) three-step model is estimated to test the impact of the presence of an SC on the SDG disclosure level and the mediating effect exerted by the SC on the relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure. Findings – Findings shed light on the usefulness of the CoP as an alternative reporting tool to communicate progress against SDGs achievement, especially regarding SDGs 13 and 8. This study evidences that board gender diversity positively influences SDG disclosure. The relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure is not only direct but also mediated by the presence of an SC. Research limitations/implications – Companies need to consider the role of women in enhancing the effectiveness of their governance mechanisms and their ability to meet stakeholder information needs. Establishing a specific SC represents a valid mechanism that ensures greater transparency about corporate actions tackled to contribute toward SDGs and enhances the relationship between board gender diversity and SDG disclosure among International companies. Practical implications – The study’s findings offer stimuli for policy-makers and regulators to reflect on the relevance of the CoP as a possible alternative communication tool to provide SDGs information and overcome the limitations of the Sustainability Reports. Originality/value – This is the first study that examines companies’ SDG disclosure practices focusing on CoPs. Further, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that tests the relationship between gender diversity and SDG disclosure, considering the mediating effect of an SC committee.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4812600
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