Women on the board are good for business

5 Aug

Companies with at least one woman on their boards outperform those with no women at the top table. That’s according to a study by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

womaneer women on the board

Having women on the board improves company performance by 26%. (pic: istockphoto.com/AlexanderImage)

Its report Gender Diversity and Corporate Performance analysed the performance of 2,400 companies with and without female board directors over six years. Its main conclusion during that period is that companies with at least one woman on the board outperform companies with no women on the board by 26% – and they perform better when markets are falling.

Why is this? The report identifies six reasons why gender diversity is good for business:

  1. It’s a sign of a better company, and is a signal that the business is already doing well.
  2. A diverse board makes all members of the board put in a better performance.
  3. It gives a better balance of leadership skills, because women are generally good at mentoring and coaching.
  4. It gives access to a wider talent pool.
  5. It’s a better reflection of the consumer decision maker.
  6. More women improve corporate governance.

The report concludes: “The debate around the topic has shifted from an issue of fairness and equality to a question of superior performance. If gender diversity on the board implies a greater probability of corporate success then it would make sense to pursue such an objective regardless of any government directive.”

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