Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Less Testosterone in the Board Room, Please

Several days ago, I wrote that what we need is more women in government, and apparently, in business, too.  In an op-ed piece in the new York Times, Nicholas Kristof criticizes Twitter for not having any-ANY-women on its Board of Directors.  Here's what he had to say:

"Twitter is on schedule to go public as a company next month, a sparkling symbol of innovation, technology — and stale, old thinking reflected in a board of seven white men.

Twitter users are reportedly more likely to be female, so it’s bizarre to have no women on the board. But the main reason to add women — not just on Twitter’s board, but in politics, business and the news media — isn’t just equity. This shouldn’t be seen as a favor to women but as a step that would be good for all of us.

In business, there’s abundant evidence that inclusion of women in senior positions is linked to better results. Catalyst, a research organization, found that the companies with the most women board directors earned a 26 percent higher return on invested capital than the companies with the least women.

In the recent government shutdown debacle, some of the first efforts at hammering out a deal to end the crisis came from a group of women in the Senate who were disheartened by the political paralysis. Time magazine’s headline online was: “Women Are the Only Adults Left in Washington.”

In the midst of the 2008 economic cataclysm, there was introspection about whether the overwhelmingly male leadership in finance led to a macho culture of excessive risk-taking. A British study found that trading behavior reflected testosterone levels in employees’ saliva: The more testosterone, the more risky the trades."

So, my DH is probably right again.  He always says that if it makes sense financially, companies will do it - whatever "it" is.  Maybe we will seen more women leading Fortune 500 companies and then running for office.  I know I will be tempted to vote for any female candidate after this recent political season.

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