Diversity increases revenues and profits

As quoted in the Mercury News, citing a recent study from the University of California, Davis:

“For every nine men holding executive posts or seats on the boards of California’s largest public companies, there is only one woman, according to a study released Thursday by the University of California-Davis.

The study, which analyzed California’s 200 largest public companies, found that just six are led by a female chief executive officer — and that doesn’t include two moves that occurred after the survey was compiled in August 2005. San Rafael-based Autodesk announced CEO Carol Bartz will step down in May, and former Gymboree CEO Lisa Harper was named chief creative officer of the San Francisco company in January.

All told, women hold only 10.2 percent of the board seats and highest-paid executive positions at the state’s biggest firms, and 37.5 percent of the companies examined have just one female director, according to the survey. And 55 companies — more than 27 percent — don’t have any women as a board member or chief executive.

“The big message is that women are an underutilized resource for California businesses,” said Nicole Woolsey Biggart, dean of the management school at UC-Davis and co-author of the 2005 UC-Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders. “What we know is that diversity of perspectives leads to greater profitability and financial success.”


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