Few Corporate Boards Are Majority Women, But Ones That Are Tend to Outperform Peers

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 12, 2017
iStock-484693620 Women Gender Power

While, worldwide, there are few majority-female corporate boards, the ones that do exist tend to outperform their industry peers, according to Bloomberg. A study from MSCI, an investment management consulting firm, found that there are only seven companies worldwide with boards dominated by women: Kering, Thales, American Water Works, H&M, Medibank, Navient, and Le Groupe Jean Coutu. Of these, four of them (Kering, American Water Works, Medibank and Le Groupe Jean Coutu) outperformed their respective sector indices this year. By contrast, about a third of companies with male-only boards have outperformed their sector peers, while an additional third beat the overall benchmark index. 

This tracks with previous research that found that companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the fewest number of women by 53 percent in terms of return on equity, 42 percent in terms of return on sales, and 66 percent in terms of return on invested capital. Other research found that companies with at least one woman on the board generally outperform those with none. An article in Forbes, however, said it is unknown whether this is correlation or causation, however: one might also argue that successful companies are more likely to add female board members, than female board members causing companies to be successful. 

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