Study of 91 countries: Businesses thrive when women lead


Gender diversity benefits more than just the women who are hired and promoted: Women leading companies has been tied to stronger profits, according to a study of almost 22,000 publicly traded companies in 91 countries. Perhaps more importantly, the study found that it's not as simple as board quotas or installing a woman CEO: Businesses and culture in general need to be less discriminatory, more inclusive and more focused on education that empowers women to lead in order to reap the benefits.

Read more below and click through for the full story. - NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Companies with 30 percent female executives rake in as much as six percentage points more in profits, according to a study on Monday, feeding into a global debate over the scarcity of women in decision-making business roles.

The conclusion stems from a study of about 22,000 publicly-traded companies in 91 countries ranging from Mexico to Norway and Italy conducted by researchers at The Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington, DC-based think tank.

"If you're a firm and you're discriminating against potential female leaders, that means you're essentially doing a bad job of picking the best leader for your firm," said Tyler Moran, one of the study's three co-authors, in an interview.

The results indicate the presence of women in corporate leadership positions can boost a firm's performance, suggesting a reward for policies that facilitate women rising through corporate ranks.

But the study found while having women in executive ranks resulted in better profitability, female CEOs or board members did not have a statistically-significant impact on the bottom line.

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