Increased profitability is clearly linked to gender
diversity in senior executive positions, according to a new report by the
Peterson Institute for International Economics with EY, formerly Ernst &
Young. Specifically, a 15 percent
increase in profitability was associated with an increase from zero to 30
percent in the number women holding senior management roles. The study found some connection between
gender diversity on boards and increased profits, and comparable profitability
between companies headed by a female or a male chief executive. The report
suggests the importance of policies covering employment practices and education
in growing the pipeline for more women to reach the top. The study covered public companies from 91
countries. More than 50 percent of the
nearly 22,000 companies studied had no women in their executive ranks, and
about 60 percent lacked female board members.
American companies had 16 percent of executive positions and 14 percent
of board seats held by women.