Publicly traded companies with male-only executive directors missed out on £430bn of investment returns last year, Grant Thornton found in its report, Women in business: the value of diversity.
Only 10% of companies surveyed had female board executives.
Previous studies have found that female directors provide a different perspective on subjects ranging from what customers want, to risky corporate ventures.
In March, women held 23.5% of board positions at FTSE 100 companies, close to the target set by Lord Mervyn Davies in his 2011 review. Though all FTSE 100 firms have female directors, women only make up 8.6% of executive directorships, up from 5.5% four years ago.
The figures show a lag in the number of women executives compared with the number of female non-executives.
Lord Davies, the former trade minister, has criticised Hastings and Worldpay, two companies preparing for large flotations, for having no women on their boards.