Women board members help improve company performance

7 Mar

More female directors, smaller boards, and a higher number of independent directors are key ingredients of a successful company, according to the Eversheds Board Report. The international law firm analysed the performance of 241 companies in Europe to assess whether the composition of the board impacted on financial performance – and a company’s ability to survive the economic crisis.

Companies with more female directors weathered the storm more successfully, especially in the UK and the banking sector.  However, in spite of these figures, just 55% of directors thought that diversity for its own sake could benefit the board – and half that number believed positive action should be taken to promote more women to senior positions.

I expect the Lord Davies report will prompt some of these companies to review their stance on supporting women in their aim for the top. (The survey was carried out between August and October 2010, before his recommendations were published). But I wonder when the facts will hit home, and company bosses will realise that women aren’t there to make up numbers, for tokenism, or to tick a diversity box, but that their input genuinely adds value where and when it’s most needed.

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