Times Up: Does Female Leadership Reduce Workplace Sexual Harassment?
We examine the role of female leadership in reducing the incidence of workplace sexual harassment. We estimate the incidence rate of sexual harassment through textual analysis of employees’ job reviews, published online during the period 2011-2017. We find that firms with a higher proportion of women on the board of directors and firms with a female CEO experience less sexual harassment. An increase of one female director is associated with an 18.2% decrease in the sexual harassment rate. The mechanism for reduced sexual harassment is linked to overall improved social policy. Compared to firms with male CEOs, firms with female CEOs experience 48.3% less sexual harassment, which translates into estimated savings of up to $81.3 million per year for the average firm. Our results are robust to several adjustments for endogeneity concerns."