Research Says: Women in Senior Management Equals Overall Company Excellence


Study: Women Matter: Gender Diversity, A Corporate Performance Driver (McKinsey & Co, 2007, Deveaux, Devilliard-Hoellinger, Baumgarten)

Finding: While the gender diversity gap remains in corporate leadership, women and forward thinking companies are demonstrating that company excellence comes with equality.

Note about The Woman Effect Research Index: This study was performed by researchers not affiliated with InPower Women. Our Research Index includes all relevant research to the subject of women, business and power. We do not influence how the research was conducted or reported by the researchers. In our abstracts, we focus on pulling out the most actionable advice for individual women. To suggest additional research we should index, or discuss our choice of abstract focus, please contact us

InPower Insight: Nurture gender diversity in schools and watch it grow to the board room.


Need proof you’re great? Here it is! The researchers at McKinsey have dug deeply into the lack of gender diversity in the corporate world and have reported back with great news. Most notably, when two or more women are present on the board and/or top management, companies are outperforming their competitors in returns on equity and stock price growth. The study also showed that when a critical mass of roughly 30% or more women in senior management positions is attained that companies score higher on average in nine criteria of excellence. In addition these companies scored greater profitability (as measured by return on equity, operating result and stock price growth).

A broad-based employee survey conducted found that an overwhelming majority of participants (72%) believed that gender diversity was directly linked to a company’s financial success. And 87% of participants of the same survey agreed that where gender diversity was present in high responsibility positions, that 15% of their C-level executives were also women.

What’s fantastic about this study is that all the areas of research it covers come back full circle to the finding that where corporations make a priority of gender diversity that there is a greater overall sense of camaraderie and productivity on all levels.  When companies make gender diversity a priority, nurture women’s ambitions and are forward thinking in helping women enhance their work-life balance – they benefit financially as seen through multiple metrics.

The study suggests that in order to close the gender gap in future generations, we must put more focus on education.  Encouraging girls in secondary schools to pursue careers in engineering and management will increase female representation in these areas.

The nine criteria of excellence where companies with women leaders excelled are: work environment and values, vision, coordination and control, leadership, external orientation, motivation, capability, accountability, innovation.

Career Coaching Tip: Stop worrying about whether you belong in the executive suite or the boardroom. No matter what role you play in your organization, the skills and sensibilities you uniquely bring to your organization is making it healthier – and wealthier! You don’t need to worry about whether your contribution will matter, you just need to focus on making it. Because it will matter – just like you matter. Know this is true and do your job well. If your current organization won’t appreciate it, there will be others that do when you’ve shown off your stuff.

Category: Impact

Keywords: Barriers to women, Best practices, Competitiveness, Management, Performance, Profitability, Work-life balance, McKinsey & Co, Career Coaching

Original Source

Photo Credit: Jill Catley

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  1. says

    Love the ROI of having women in the boardroom! I will share this on my social networks. I recently wrote a couple of articles gender diversity that show that women once they reach upper levels of management have a discernable affect on a company’s view of diversity. And another shows that woman in leadership roles have a positive affect on business profits not only in the U.S. but in numerous countries and across multiple cultures.

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