The Benefits of Female Presence for Board Performance


3 women on board talking about benefit female perspective

There are many effective ways to ensure quality board performance, but one of the simplest to implement and maintain is ensuring gender-balanced work groups. Board Surveys has compiled extensive data to support the benefits provided by gender diverse groups in the ways they think and perform differently to male-dominated boards.

Our data is confirmed by extensive global research investigating the factors contributing to the benefits of gender balanced boards. Read on to learn the key improvements and why you should consider ensuring a gender-diverse board.

Women’s fresh thinking and innovation thanks to different experiences and perspectives

A male dominated board brings with it a silo of sorts when it comes to lateral thinking. Female voices, experiences, and perspectives provide a different dimension and the opportunity for your board to make more inclusive decisions or consider a range of factors that otherwise may be missed, leading to improved processes and policies.

Female interpersonal skills lead to more productive discussion

Our data shows an increased focus on solving tough problems from boards with more gender diverse members. In addition, women excel in interpersonal skills such as inspiring and motivating, communicating powerfully, collaboration, and relationship building. All of this is a major advantage in the boardroom and when relating to management throughout the organisation.

Greater diligence around meeting preparation

Based on our research, preparing for meetings, creating and updating processes, and other tasks requiring finer details all benefit from female involvement. This increases rigour and accountability throughout your board with a trickle-down effect on the rest of the organisation.

This level of scrutiny across meeting preparation can lead to better use of the board’s time, clearer communication in meetings, and improved outcomes. A keen eye can identify potential issues and ensure new policies are adequately thought through. This is invaluable when it comes to satisfying audit requirements and ensuring your organisation’s processes and policies are easy to understand.

Achieving greater board unity

A focus on collegiality, responsiveness and reduced conflict are found in gender diverse boardrooms. A related stat found that male board members were less aggressive and better behaved in the presence of females, contributing to kinder boardroom interactions.

The presence of greater female senior leadership contributes to better organisational performance

The improved performance differential of female leadership can be explained by the theory of “collective intelligence.” In situations where shared or group intelligence emerges as a result of collaboration or competition of several individuals, collective intelligence applies.

Research states that this is a critical factor in positive group performance. In fact, it can be the difference of more than 40% of the performance gap between a group with collective intelligence versus those without.

Collective intelligence combines the average social sensitivity of group members with the equality of conversational turn-taking. These can be significant benefits in group discussions and are assisted when women are present in the group. As women demonstrate a better trait of social sensitivity, their presence makes a big difference.

As we have found with correlating data, the more equal representation of women in the boardroom increases performance. Gender balanced situations help your board see the benefits of collective intelligence, making the goal of equality within your board a worthwhile one to achieve.


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