Healthline News: Women have more than a “good head for business.” Researchers find they actually have a different cognitive approach to corporate decision making, which may help the bottom line.
“Vive la différence,” as the French are fond of saying. A new study published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics builds on the established correlation between female board representation and better business performance.
The study, “Why women make better directors,” was conducted by Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Ontario, and Gregory McQueen, a McMaster graduate and senior executive associate dean at the A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.
Bart and McQueen began their “moral reasoning” psychological study in the aftermath of scandals at major companies such as Enron, Arthur Anderson, and ALO Time Warner. Bart says that people at the time were asking, “Where were the directors and why did they allow this to happen?”
Over the course of nine years, they surveyed 624 directors using an established survey instrument called the Defined Issues Test (DIT). Approximately 75 percent of the survey participants were men and 25 percent were women.
Nearly all of the companies represented in the study were Canadian, and included large publicly traded and nonprofit entities. According to the authors, theirs is the largest-known moral reasoning study of board directors.
“We’ve known for some time that companies with more women on their boards have better results,” explained Bart in a press announcement. “We set out to find out why.”
Unlike in the U.S., where boards must only protect shareholder interests, Canadian directors are compelled to act in the company’s best interest while taking into account how their decisions will affect the interests of all stakeholders. [Continue reading…]