The recent Credit Suisse report on women on boards (Gender diversity and corporate performance, August 2012) is a though provoking and encouraging study to those of us who have long argued that legislation for equal gender representation on boards is a very good thing.
Researching in 2,400 companies worldwide, Credit Suisse found that companies with at least one woman on their board have outperformed companies with no women by 26% from 2005 to 2011. And of particular interest is the fact that most of this improvement came post the financial slump period suggesting companies which have embraced gender diversity have done well in the bad times too.
According to the report, a company with female board directors shows that the company has a wider talent pool, a better mix of leadership, and already is well-run and performing better.
Hundreds of business and academic studies over the years show mixed results over whether diversity is good for business and the bottom line and have often been challenged by those reluctant to concede more women make any difference at all. The Credit Suisse report is a timely riposte to the doubters. Gender equality appears to be a strong indicator that diverse leadership really pays off for companies.
So come on UK, time to make this happen across the boards of Britain, and set manadatory quotas for boards who are dragging their feet. You know it makes sense!
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Posted on September 19th, 2012 by Jane