About a year ago, quite an interesting study indicated the tremendous value women bring to corporate boards. The study was based on a survey of 600 board directors and was published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics. Here are a few key findings:
1—Women have a higher propensity than men to consider competing interests.
2—Women have a higher propensity than men to adopt a cooperative approach as they make important decisions.
3—Women have a higher propensity than men to see more than one solution to a problem.
4—Women have a higher propensity than men to shake things up rather than to be bound by tradition or regulations.
Although certainly we are each individuals with our unique strengths and weaknesses, on average, women and men tend to see matters differently. Before you too quickly conclude that the female perspective is somehow inferior in any way, consider Stuart Pfeifer’s summary on how the female perspective affected the financials (“Women Are Better Board Members Study Says” The Kansas City Star, March 28, 2013, p. A8):
“Companies with at least one female director were 20 percent less likely to file bankruptcy. And those with higher representations of females on their boards had better financial performance.”
I believe all of the above is good news. Now, here is the bad news. Worldwide, women comprise just 9% of corporate boards. I would say we have some definite growth opportunities. Let’s start capitalizing on them.