Textual features, such as readability and disclosure tone, of mandatory financial reports have significant economic consequences. Managers and directors’ demographic attributes can also lead to different reporting styles. This study examines how gender-diverse boards influence the readability and tone of corporate financial disclosures under the framework of upper echelons theory. Using a sample of 3,085 U.S. firm-year observations from 2007 to 2016, we find that gender diversity in the board and audit committee enhances the readability of narrative disclosures and is associated with a less optimistic, litigious, and ambiguous tone in annual reports. This study highlights the contribution of female directors to the quality and transparency of financial disclosures and supports recent regulatory initiatives aimed at enhancing female representation on corporate boards.

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