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McKinsey: Companies with more women leaders perform better

Monday, September 6, 2010  
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Initiatives to encourage mentoring and networking, to establish and monitor diversity targets, to ensure policies are not biased against women or part-time workers and to create better work-life balance result in advantages beyond the branding benefit that may come to companies viewed as socially progressive, according to The McKinsey Quarterly.

Companies scoring highest on nine dimensions, such as leadership, innovation, accountability and motivation, were likely to have the highest operating margins, McKinsey found. For companies reporting information on the gender of managers, those with three or more women on the senior-management team scored higher on all nine criteria than companies with no senior-level women.

"These findings suggest that companies with higher numbers of women at senior levels are also companies with better organizational and financial performance,” the report said. "Although the analysis does not show a causal link, our research argues for greater gender diversity among corporate leaders.”

Hiring and retaining women at all levels enlarges a company’s pool of talent at a time when shortages are appearing throughout industries, the report concluded. "Besides helping companies to fill shortfalls of talent, gender diversity can allow them to attract and retain it and to meet other business goals.”

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