Why Does Lack of Gender Diversity Hurt Performance?

Gender equality in leadership is a topic appearing with increasing frequency among the research reports, books, and opinion pieces crossing my desk. Perhaps one reason is the candidacy of women for the Presidency of the United States in both parties.

Whatever the reason, research is shedding interesting insights on the issue. Findings of a recent McKinsey Global Institute study include: (1) lack of gender diversity is associated with a greater likelihood of below par performance in a sample of 366 companies in Canada, Latin America, United Kingdom, and the US, and (2) when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful.

One response to the research is to disagree with the premise and methodology. Studies like these can be easy targets. Three hundred sixty-six companies spread across a number of countries is a small sample. Although gender and financial data are straightforward, they are not always easy to obtain with complete accuracy. And, like many studies, these correlate gender diversity with financial performance. That is, they are found together. But that doesn’t mean that gender diversity necessarily accounts for much if any of the performance.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: hbswk.hbs.edu

Research suggests that having women in leadership positions can increase a company’s performance, but little explanation as to why. James Heskett asks readers to offer their insights.

See on Scoop.itBusiness Brainpower with the Human Touch


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