Who’s the better business leader?

Who’s the better business leader? Men?

Or women?

I’ve pondered this a long time and, as far as I can tell, it’s pretty clear (and getting clearer all the time).

Let’s look at some of the data…

In 2013, the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics published the results of a study that surveyed 600 board directors, of which only 150 were women.The study concluded that women’s abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders. They found that the more cooperative approach to decision making translated into better performance for their companies. 

“We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results. Our findings show that having women on the board is no longer just the right thing but also the smart thing to do. Companies with few female directors may actually be shortchanging their investors.” 

Chris Bart, DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University

The researchers also discovered that male directors preferred to make decisions using rules, regulations and traditional ways of doing business. 

Female directors, by contrast, are less constrained by these parameters and are more prepared to ‘rock the boat.’And there are several other studies that show gender equity in senior management and at the board level offer other substantial, tangible benefits. 

For example, one report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute revealed that those firms dominated by men had recovered more slowly since the 2008 financial downturn than those with a more balanced male-female ratio.

“Today’s corporate world may be male-dominated but companies should take note: Hiring women is actually good for business. It’s not just about equality, it’s a business case with measurable success.  Companies with more women on board tend to outperform companies with more men onboard. According to a report by Catalyst, businesses with the most females had on average, 42% greater return on sales, 53% better return on equity and 66% greater return on invested capital.” 

Forbes Magazine, 2016

It’s also a scientific fact that men and women process information differently. 

Men have a clipboard mentality.

One problem at a time, please, and give me some space while I process each one.

Women, though, have an ability to multi-process.

Build a company, make the kids sandwiches, paint the ceiling, what shoes should I wear tomorrow, and what did Joe mean last night when he said…

All studies aside, I suspect we’ve always known this, much like Ladies Home Journal who in the 1940s adopted the following motto:

Never underestimate the power of a woman.


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