Womenomics: The Business Value of Women

Question: What would happen to the world if the CEOs of ExxonMobil, the NY Times, Wal-Mart, GE and Microsoft were all women?

The Economist tells us that women are now the most powerful engine of global growth. Apparently over the past decade, the increased employment of women in developed economies has contributed much more to global growth than China has.
Listen to this:
Making better use of women’s skills is not just a matter of fairness. Plenty of studies suggest that it is good for business, too. Women account for only 7% of directors on the world’s corporate boards—15% in America, but less than 1% in Japan. Yet a study by Catalyst, a consultancy, found that American companies with more women in senior management jobs earned a higher return on equity than those with fewer women at the top. This might be because mixed teams of men and women are better than single-sex groups at solving problems and spotting external threats. Studies have also suggested that women are often better than men at building teams and communicating.
To make men feel even worse, researchers have also concluded that women make better investors than they do. A survey by Digital Look, a British financial website, found that women consistently earn higher returns than men. A survey of American investors by Merrill Lynch examined why women were better at investing. Women were less likely to “churn” their investments; and men tended to commit too much money to single, risky ideas. Overconfidence and overtrading are a recipe for poor investment returns.

Is anybody listening?
I posted about this a while back: Advice to Women who would be CEOs: “Stay away from HR”
I usually think of “business-women” in two camps – the toady – a conservative woman who moved up the ranks by reinforcing the stereotypes (eg. Kay Bailey Hutchison) or – the trailblazer – a talented woman who created her own way despite the barriers and obstacles thrown in her way by the good-old boys (eg. Anita Roddick).
Of course some people in certain parts of the world still think of women as property. Is it a coincidence that our problems with terrorism stem from these same places?

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