More Women = Higher Return?

This research is interesting.

Ever since we launched FORTUNE's Most Powerful Women list in 1998, we've noticed that many top-performing companies—such as Citigroup, Southwest Airlines, Viacom, and Avon—have an above-average population of women at the top. Now there's some hard evidence that gender diversity and financial performance are linked. A just-released study of FORTUNE 500 companies by Catalyst, the research firm that tracks corporate women, shows that companies with the highest representation of senior women had a 35% higher return on equity and a 34% higher return to shareholders than companies with the fewest women near the top. Catalyst looked at both the management teams and financial performance of 353 FORTUNE 500 companies from 1996 to 2000.

I'd like to see more details about the study. I'm not surprised though. I think for large organizations women make better leaders when you hold experience, intelligence, education etc. constant. I don't have any data for this, just anecdotal stuff. But I think many large companies suffer from poor communication up and down the command chain, and between company divisions. Many large companies also have megalomaniacal leaders who get blinded by their own ego and flub business decisions because they won't listen to dissenters. Women, in general I think, are less prone to these errors because they tend to be better communicators, more humble, and just in general have a true interest in what other people have to say.

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