Women on boards give 26% boost in business

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How long will it take for boards to catch up with statistics? Yet another report, this one from the Credit Suisse Research Institute, shows that businesses with women on their boards outperform those with all-male boards.

Their study was aimed at answering the question of whether mixed-gender boards really did perform better. Conflicting results from other studies drove them to look at the global picture.

When their final results were in, they had a significant result: companies with a mixed-gender board out-performed comparably sized companies without female board members by a huge 26%.

The researchers found that the number of companies with women on their boards was still low, at 59%, but that was up from 41% six years ago. Gender quotas had helped drive that number up, and as more evidence backed up the business case for diversity, more companies would embrace the idea, the report authors said.

“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 government directives,” the report said.

They suggested that while there were a wide range of results, a balanced board made for a more balanced and stable decision-making process.

About 40% of Canadian boards have no women at all, and the calls from lobby groups such as Catalyst for corporate Canada to fill 25% of board seats with women by 2017 are getting louder – as it stands women represent just 10% of board members.

 

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