Study: Does Female Representation in Top Management Improve Firm Performance? (Social Science Research Network, 2011, Deszo, Ross)
Finding: Female representation in top management brings informational and social diversity benefits to the top management team, enriches the behaviors exhibited by managers throughout the firm, and motivates women in middle management. These benefits accrue particularly, and primarily, to firms focused on increasing innovation.
InPower Insight: In evaluating whether you can, as a woman, use your feminine leadership strengths to uniquely contribute to your organization, you should factor in how much your company truly values innovation and “doing things differently.”
The researchers looked for evidence that female representation in top management brings informational and social diversity to the top management team, enriching the behaviors exhibited by managers throughout the firm, and motivating women in middle management. They tested their theory using 15 years of panel data on the top management teams of the S&P, or 1,500 firms.
Consistent with their expectations, companies that had women in top management did exhibit improved performance, but only to the extent that the firm’s strategy was focused on innovation.
Career Coaching Tip: Want to excel and make a significant impact on your company’s bottom line? As a woman, you’ll have a greater chance of doing so, leveraging your innate talents, if you choose a company that truly values innovation and has women in senior management. No individual can change a company culture by herself, so pay extra attention to the culture you’ll be moving into.
Keywords: women in management, impact of women in management, executive women, innovation