A new report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute indicates that companies with women on their boards perform better in challenging markets than those with all-male boards. The results of the six-year study suggest that boards with a mix of genders may make fewer risky investment moves and see increased return on equity.
The research includes data from 2,360 companies. Those with a market capitalization of more than $10 billion and with women on their boards outperformed comparable businesses with all-male boards by 26% worldwide. The correlation between stock performance and the presence of women on the board became more clear after the financial crisis that started in 2008.
“Stocks of companies with women on boards tend to be a little more risk averse and have on average a little less debt, which seems to be one of the key reasons why they’ve outperformed so strongly in this particular period,” Mary Curtis, an author of the report, told Bloomberg. “Companies with women on boards really outperformed when the downturn came through in 2008.”
Net income growth for companies with women directors has averaged 14% over the past six years, compared with 10% for those with all-male boards.
Some 36% of companies in the United States have no women on their boards of directors, according to a report by GMI Ratings on gender diversity. According to that report: “Multiple academic studies have concluded that diverse corporate boards exercise more diligent oversight.”