Do women contribute to the bottom line?

Replies : 15


There's much research that demonstrates the corporate governance and bottom line benefits women leaders bring to organisations, for example research by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA shows that companies led by a female CEO are c. 10% more profitable than a corresponding company led by a male CEO.

But why? Do women make better leaders? Or is it because only the 'creme de la creme' that make it to CEO level? Any thoughts?




source material

Sandra - do you have a link to the source material?

Its a bit difficult to comment without seeing it.

source material

Oops. Of course Brian. Here it is:

A McKinsey report, Women Matter 2, also shows that having more women on boards and in senior exec roles is linked to stronger financial performance


Don't feed me lines like that

I'll resist commenting on women, bottom lines and appearance this time!!

I only read the summary, but it seems reasonable to me. The only thing I would add is that I read a book recently (Rachel Elnaugh's "Business Nightmares" I think) which stated that women treat their company more personally than men and that may be a part of the reason. In general, women tend to be more encouraging than men and that will also help as a happy worker is more likely to be a profitable worker.  I have no stats for that, it is a conclusion I have reached by personal observation.

Of interest, do you know what the % of female CIMA members are FCMAs and the % of male members who are FCMAs?  It would be interesting to see if there is a large disparity.

female encouragement

You make a good observation about women being more encouraging than men, and how this might lead to more motivated workers prepared to go that extra mile. I have certainly found this in my career (although I have to say that my worst manager was a woman!). I was sure I'd read something about women motivating staff more than men, and indeed, I had - in the McKinsey report, Women Matter 2 referenced above (pg 19 this time). It says that women demonstrate more than men 5 out of the 9 leadership traits that have a positive impact on corporate performance: things like being inspiring, building a collaborative team, defining expectations and rewarding success.

Regarding % of female CIMA members that are FCMAs vs % of male members that are FCMAs...let's just say there’s a big disparity.

In fact that’s what prompted this research into Women in Leadership. I'll be speaking to senior level CIMA females to find out how they made it to the top (inclding obstacles encountered and how they overcame them) with a view to sharing these insights with the wider membership - both men and women.  I also want to explore the career progression techniques that people in senior exec/ board level roles used, and if these differ by gender, as well looking at the leadership traits required to make it to the top. So your contributions and insights are really useful. Thank you.  


French Approach


This is going to sound a little megative - so let me caveat this by saying that I am pro-diversity: I see the obvious benefits in have employees which represent the fabric of society whatever gender / orientation / ethnicity .. etc. They have a range of experiences and increased empathy with customers which help any business.

Thereport you are quoting seems to be re-enforcing stereotypes rather than treating people as individuals:

It says that women demonstrate more than men 5 out of the 9 leadership traits that have a positive impact on corporate performance: things like being inspiring, building a collaborative team, defining expectations and rewarding success.

Some men will have better performance in some areas, some women in others. The report compares average men to average women - the thing is there is no such thing as an average man or woman. It kind of implies that hire a woman and you can expect them to build a collaborative team - simply not true: versus a man maybe they are 5% more likely to build a team, but that shouldn't be the grounds for hiring.

Personally I prefer the French approach of being colour / gender blind. Discrimination is processed on an individual basis, but numbers aren't collected as they only continue to re-enforce stereotypes. France in general is probably a more racist country than the UK, but I'd argue that was a result of their decolonisation policies as opposed to current employment practice.

The final and perhaps most important point is that I would love to stay at home with the kids. In fact my wife and I almost had a major falling out over the issue.. she saw it as her right and dream to look after them - re-enforced by the generous maternity benefits.

So I pose this question:

It could be the basic instinct of women which gives them better leadership traits.. it could be these same instincts which encourage some women to want to stay home and raise a family?? So they are better leaders who don't want to be leaders! Once again more stereotypes! (which I said I disapproved of in the first place ;)




I do like the arch shaped graph showing gender mix versus profitabiltiy... I thought that was good!

Why do women still earn less than men?

Time magazine has just published this article about gender pay gaps:,8599,1983185,00.html

"Why do you think [male-dominated industries] are sex-segregated?" says Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. "Very often women aren't welcome there." Real or perceived, discrimination in certain sectors could discourage women from seeking employment there.
And those who pick male-dominated fields, too, earn less than men: female truck drivers, for instance, earn just 76.5% of the weekly pay of their male counterparts. Ensuring an end to discrimination would benefit more than just women, as advocates who resist the characterization of equal pay as a zero-sum game are quick to point out. When Iowa instituted wage adjustments to combat pay discrimination, men accounted for 41% of the beneficiaries."

Out of the loop in Silicon Valley

This article from the New York Times looking at female entrepreneurs and leaders in the technology sector touches on many similar points...

(CIMAsphere community manager)

France is not a good example

Having lived, studied and worked in France (and the UK) I can tell you that France is not a good example of how things should be done. In both the educational and corporate spheres, there is a very obvious racism - this is evidenced by the very low number of people from minority communities entering elite educational establishments as well as in the corporate world (the first non-white news anchor on French news was himself big news when he was appointed in 2007).

In addition to racial issues, there is also very obvious sexual harassment. Men can comment on womens bodies in a way that is unacceptable to the women in France as well as in the UK. These French women have told me that it's just the way things are done in France. That's one culture shock I wasn't expecting and I'm a bloke!

Women are great in leadership positions but what about SMEs?

The reason I ask this question is that there is a very real cost associated with women going on maternity leave. Big companies can absorb the costs. SMEs may find it harder. As a result I know a number of small business owners that will not employ women of child-bearing age. The people do not doubt that the spirit of the maternity laws are just, they simply feel that the burden is one for society and not the SME.

Women and Leadership

An interesting article from a CIMA Sphere friend and blogger Leslie Kossoff on women and leadership here

Women are winners as sales/marketing team members


Most Ladies are born salespersons with good physical outlook and being diplomatic marketers.

They are mostly meticulous and give emphasis on their appearance and presentations that win any job/contract.


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