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February 05, 2020 Wednesday 12:46:23 PM IST

Women Leadership Good for High Tech Industries

Leadership Instincts

A new research done by Macquarie Business School has found that women perform well in leadership roles. The findings were based on an analysis of listed companies on the S&P500 Index from 2000-2015. It was done by Dr Farida Akhtar, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Actuarial Studies and Business Analytics. Companies with female CEOs and substantial female representation on their boards are performing better. They create a stronger corporate culture, nurture employees. They create better reward systems and greater flexibility and bring unique demographic skills. Akhtar’s research suggests that while there are several factors at play in the slow growth of women's inclusion in top executive roles, such as traditional beliefs, culture, discrimination, low promotion rates and the ‘boys’ club’, one factor is particularly surprising, and disappointing.

“Companies in high-tech industries with a large proportion of institutional investors prefer more male directors. Institutional investors – and boards – say they want more female representation, but do they really? They spout diversity principles but they don’t actually follow through,” she says. Also in mature companies institutional shareholders prefer boards not to have three or more female directors. Females are often appointed when companies are in a crisis phase but these appointments are more precarious and more heavily scrutinised.