School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Global healthcare organizations are fundamental in addressing the healthcare needs of local and global communities. This highly regulated sector means it is under constant scrutiny for health, safety, and ethical compliance risks by federal regulatory bodies. Despite higher monitoring, an increasing number of healthcare companies receive fines for their irresponsible practices, manifesting significant questions about their corporate governance and sustainability practices. Against this backdrop, this study examines the relationship between boardroom diversity on the sustainability performance of companies operating in healthcare. Utilizing a global sample of publicly listed healthcare companies, using panel regression data and the system-GMM estimator accounting for endogeneity, we find evidence of a positive association between board diversity (gender and culture) and sustainability performance. These findings support critical mass theoretical expectations for board diversity and sustainability performance, suggesting that a meaningful representation (three or more) of women and ethnic directors on the board of healthcare organizations significantly improves sustainability performance. The findings remain robust in a series of robustness tests and continue to hold after accounting for potential endogeneity concerns. This paper has important implications for global healthcare organizational policy concerning diversity management practices and their implications for sustainability performance.
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