Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Breaking the Glass Ceiling from the Top"

I will state my bias right up front: I worked with Catalyst over the summer and I absolutely consider myself a Catalysta. And so should you.

Ilene Lang, the president and CEO of Catalyst, just shared a small sliver of the research Catalyst is doing that is changing the makeup of organizations and board leadership. And as she says--even though the values-based argument and a person's sense of fair play may be the most important motivating reason for addressing gender gaps-- financial and "bottom line" measures are a good way to help sweep others along.

So here's the bottom line: it just makes good business sense (and that's in a dollars sense of the word). According to Catalyst research, Fortune 500 companies with higher percentages of women on their boards see equity returns 53 percent higher than those companies with the fewest number of women on their boards, as well as 42 percent higher return on sales and 66 percent higher return on investment.

Granted, this is a correlation, not a causation. But given the other compelling reasons--not to mention our current economy--what part of 15.2% F500 board seats held by women makes any sense (or cents) at all?

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