Decisions, Decisions; Breaking Glass Ceilings Benefits the Bottom Line

Women’s ability to make fair decisions amidst multiple and competing interests tend to make them better corporate leaders, researchers have found. A survey of more than 600 board directors showed that women are more likely to consider the rights of others and apply a cooperative approach to decisionmaking, which can result in better performance for their companies.

The study, recently published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, was conducted by Chris Bart, Ph.D., a professor of strategic market leadership at Canada’s DeGroote School of Business at  McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, and Gregory McQueen, senior associate dean at A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine, in Mesa, Arizona.

Male directors, which made up 75 percent of survey participants, prefer to make decisions using rules, regulations and traditional ways of doing business or getting along. Meanwhile, female directors are less curtailed by these parameters and are more likely to try new and unconventional business methods.

“We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results,” explains Bart. “Our findings show that having women on the board is no longer just the right thing, but also the smart thing to do.” Yet women still only comprise approximately 9 percent of corporate board memberships worldwide.

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