Certification to compensate gender prejudice–Analysis on impact of management system certification on export

Cesare A.F. Riillo*, Ivana Mijatovic, Henk J. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Management system certification signals that the organization meets international standards, which provides a certain confidence in the company. This confidence is in particular needed for exporting companies in developing countries. Because the business world is dominated by men, female leadership might be another reason to have less confidence in a company. Women-led companies may therefore benefit more from certification. Therefore, this study empirically tests the impact of certification on export, and the moderating effect of female leadership. We use data from enterprise surveys conducted by the World Bank in 2013 that include 4111 firms from 25 Central and Eastern European countries in transition. We implement a recursive bivariate probit model and an extensive sensitivity analysis to account for endogeneity issues. Results confirm that certification and export are positively correlated. Firms managed by females benefit more from certification based on international standards than firms managed by men, especially in the service sector. This suggests that certification compensates for the possibly negative connotations of female leadership. Female managers may consider implementing a management system and get it certified, resulting in a competitive advantage in export markets. Our findings provide food for thought for purchase managers–are they free from prejudice?.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3777-3794
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • export
  • gender prejudice
  • Management system certification
  • World Bank enterprise survey


Dive into the research topics of 'Certification to compensate gender prejudice–Analysis on impact of management system certification on export'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this