I recently came across an article that I read with interest – as it goes against much of the research and most of the opinions that I’ve come across!
According to the London School of Economics and Political Science, having more women on a board can improve governance as women are better at monitoring and more likely to attend meetings. However it also says there is a correlation between firms with more female board members and low profitability, which “suggests in well-governed companies, governance could have a negative effect.”
So basically this research shows that because women are more efficient in their work, organisations are suffering? Surely this signals that corporate governance needs to be re-assessed, not that women damage profitability! Besides, research from McKinsey actually shows the opposite – that the companies with more women at board level actually perform better financially.
It’s always disappointing to read pieces like this which just seem to add to the struggle for diversity. Of course we can’t generalise too much but on the whole, women do bring different skills to the table and organisations genuinely do benefit from having more diverse teams – not only in gender – but in age, race, background and so on. Let’s hope that the business world recognises this and doesn’t pay too much attention to this report!