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Women more effective business leaders than men, study finds

Collaboration and consensus-building yield results on the corporate bottom line.

By Rich_Maloof Mar 29, 2013 5:16PM

Facebok COO Sheryl Sandberg has been all over the news this March, which is Women’s History Month, with the publication her new book. “Lean In” encourages women to assert themselves professionally and restart a gender revolution that Sandberg says has stalled.

Photo: Women more effective leaders / Izabela Habur/Getty ImagesFemale business leaders hold just 14 percent of executive officer positions at Fortune 500 companies, she has noted, and about 17 percent of board seats — a minority standing that has barely budged for a decade.

Yet, a study published this week concludes that women actually make better corporate leaders than men.


Research published in the “International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics” concludes that having more women on a company board is not only the right thing to do in terms of equality, but yields a greater bottom line on corporate spreadsheets.

“We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results," stated one researcher. “Companies with few female directors may actually be shortchanging their investors.”

Bing: Highest paid women in the world

The study is based on a survey of more than 600 board members, 75 percent of which were male directors. Women make up about 9 percent of corporate board memberships globally, the study said.

More from MSN Living: Women who inspire us

Key to the findings was that women are more likely to take a collaborative approach to decision-making. They’re more inclined than men to consider the rights of others and to arrive at fair decisions that take the interests of multiple stakeholders into account. Women business leaders were also found to be more inquisitive and to consider a broader range of solutions to problems.

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Male leaders, the study concluded, prefer to make decisions using rules, regulations, and time-honored approaches to doing business.

While being effective consensus-builders appears to be a strength of female directors and leaders, the researchers say professional women are also more inclined to “rock the boat” — as Yahoo chief exec Marissa Mayer did last month with her against-the-grain plan to ban her employees from working at home.

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Photo: Women more effective leaders / Izabela Habur/Getty Images

83Comments
Apr 3, 2013 1:57AM
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We are talking about the business of house cleaning.
Apr 2, 2013 11:59AM
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Some women have been very good at leading.  Others not.  Likewise men.  Each have different qualities that lend (or not) to any given situation.  Usually, i find it's not so much the person that makes the difference as it is the situation that's  suited to any leader's particular qualities.  In other words... its always seems to be more of a case of "history that makes the man/woman", not the reverse. 

And about Marrisa Mayer:  I hope the best for her but i must admit that something about her gives me an uneasy feeling.  Somehow i just get the feeling that she is the type to say "Do as i say do, not as i do".  In other words, she doesn't really lead by example. 

Plus, i don't think the Yahoo webpage redesign was all that impressive.  And of all the web portals out there, I find Yahoo the most anoying.  Gee!... must readers sit through a 30 sec ad everytime the want read an article?  It feels like they don't value our time.  10 seconds long is all any commercial should last, not 30.  I get so turned off to the shenigans of the site, that i find myself passing on reading many of their articles. 

Apr 2, 2013 11:56AM
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women own 28% of non farm businesses where men own 51% of them. I think the question is answered here when women have far more advantages for start up capital than men do why have they not started businesses and kept them running? It can be fashionable and PC to put a woman in a position of power but not many of them get their on their own. Those are US census numbers.
Apr 2, 2013 4:46AM
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women are bitchy and moody and vendictive, NO THEY DO NOT MAKE BETTER CORPORATE LEADERS & i'M A WOMAN!!!
Apr 2, 2013 3:58AM
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Men usually have to work their way to the top while women usually have to give a head to get ahead.
Apr 2, 2013 2:19AM
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I get so tired of hearing Women, Blacks, Hispanics, Orientals,etc constantly bitching and whining about how hard life is on them. Well, I don't and never will believe you should hire anyone based on ANYTHING but their qualifications for the job, and all women seem to do is want qualifications to be a secondary requirement to sex. Too bad. Our last Secretary of State was picked mostly because of her sex, and God, what a horrendous mistake THAT was! Sorry girls, I had to mkake it based on my qualifications for work, and so should YOU!! And God help us if that ever changes! By the way, when are men going to get a month?
Apr 2, 2013 12:35AM
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I'm sure they do make the best leaders ask HP's CEO who bought a  company that was worth BILLION dollars less then what they paid
Apr 2, 2013 12:19AM
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Maybe its me, but every woman boss I have had was the pits, to much trying to prove she belongs at the top, mind you I have had only two and I am in engineering.
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