Companies do better with more women leaders, study shows
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
There is a strong correlation
between how well corporations develop and promote their female leaders and how
successful those corporations are in the marketplace, according to new research
by the Eastern Michigan University College of Business.
The Michigan Women's Leadership Index, a biennial survey that looks at female
board members and senior executives at the 100 largest publicly held
corporations headquartered in Michigan, found women hold 10.37 percent of the
849 board seats at Michigan Index 100 companies. That's up from 9.6 percent of
total board seats in 2003.
Among Michigan's Fortune 500 companies, women hold 35 ( 17.86 percent ) of the
total 196 board seats -- up nearly six percentage points since 2003. For the
first time, women directors make up 36.36 percent of the boards of three large
companies: General Motors, Kelly Services and Steelcase.
"Research provides a strong correlation between women's leadership and the
success of enterprises that do a good job of fostering it," said Megan
Endres, a professor of management who served as lead researcher for the 2011
index. "Women corporate leaders bring male-dominated companies a diversity
of outlooks and opinions that they otherwise would lack. That leads to better
decision making, fewer mistakes and, potentially, higher profits over time."
The number of Michigan Index 100 companies with at least one woman listed among
their top-compensated executives has moved from a low of 16 in 2005 to the high
of 36 in both 2009 and 2011.
"Now that 60 percent of new
college graduates are women, the war for the best and brightest talent will
favor those companies that foster women's leadership,” said Terry Barclay, CEO
of Inforum Center for Leadership. "Employers need to be seen as organizations
where women can lead and succeed.”