Gender Diversity in Top Management and Its Impact on Company Performance

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I think the real benefit of having women and diversity in a team is that you have a richer set of ideas. So, I truly believe there is a direct relationship between team performance and having a diverse team with the best talents. - A Vice-President of a leading global healthcare company

Nowadays it seems that everyone has something to say about gender diversity in the corporate environment. There are a lot of issues and concerns in this field, such as why there are still so few women in top leadership positions, or why women are increasingly choosing to leave the corporate workforce to start their own companies or to focus on motherhood, for example. There are a lot of theories and hypotheses about its causes and results.

In the past few decades, women have made great progress in their involvement in economic activity. Today women’s college participation and graduation rates exceed those of men, and more and more women are pursuing “traditionally male” college majors and jobs, particularly in professional fields such as law and medicine. However, the proportion of women in managerial occupations is still very small. And the higher one climbs within a company or institution, the fewer women one tends to find.

Our goal in this term paper is to prove that there are some proven business reasons for including women in corporate leadership positions. It should not be just intention for businesses to favor female in the sense of positive discrimination or quotas. And companies with women on top positions can really benefit from it.

To achieve this goal we set the number of objectives:
• to select a couple of articles which consists some significant research related to the topic. In order to trace the transformation of attitudes over time the articles should be from different time periods; • to review the situation about women’s leadership in different countries; • to analyze all the information and draw conclusions; • to offer some ways to achieve gender-balance on top of company’s hierarchy.

Two articles have been chosen as a base for our research: “Women leaders and the bottom line”, by Robin Cohen and Linda Kornfeld, Bloomberg Corporate Law Journal, Vol. 1, Winter Issue 2005-2006 and “Moving women to the top: McKinsey global survey results” by Charlotte Werner and Sandrine Devillard, Harvard Business Review, October 2010.

We start with the synopsis of each of the articles in order to give present the information.

By Robin Cohen and Linda Kornfeld

There needs to be a shift in the focus of the gender diversity debate to a discussion about the proven business reasons for including women in corporate leadership positions In order to prove this fact several studies were reviewed.

|Study |Detailes |Results | |“The Bottom Line” case for gender diversity | |1) “The Bottom Line: Connecting | 353 Fortune 500 companies were examined in order to prove|“The group of companies with the highest | |Corporate Performance and Gender |the correlation between increased gender diversity at the |representation of women on their top management| |Diversity,” by the independent |highest levels and improved financial performance. |teams experienced better financial performance | |research organization Catalyst | |than the group of companies with the lowest | |(2004) | |women’s representation,” with a 35.1% higher | | | |Return on Equity (ROE) and 34% higher Total | |...
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