A University of California at Berkeley study entitled Women Create A Sustainable Future finds businesses that actively pursue gender diversity opportunities for positions of leadership are more successful than those that don’t.
The study, published by the UC Haas School of Business and written by Kellie A. McElhaney & Sanaz Mobasseri, says in its thesis statement, “Diversity is a critical factor in improving not just the quality of a company’s leadership and decision making, but also its overall financial, environmental, social and governance performance and ultimately, the company’s sustainability. “Indeed organizations like Credit Suisse, McKinsey, and Catalyst have shown that the presence of women at top levels of management and leadership has been correlated with better financial performance for the company.”
A prominent example in the American marketplace of diversity leadership at a company producing great results is Yahoo! The online media giant was floundering when it hired Marissa Mayer to be its CEO. Mayer was criticized in various media outlets after returning to work in September, following the birth of her son.
And yet, Yahoo! stock reached a two-year peak in December. Changes in the company have improved trader confidence, a much needed boost for a company that had mass layoffs earlier in the year.
Such a high profile victory for gender diversity in the workplace spells future opportunities for women in an environment that has long been male dominated. Department of Labor (DOL) research shows that in 2010, women accounted for less than one-quarter of all CEO positions. They also earned one-quarter less on average than their male counterparts.