Sunday, August 09, 2009

Let 'em be Senators and governors...

But maybe not board members.  An interesting study on the effect of women on corporate boards and the ensuing changes in governance and behavior of the boards could easily be misterpreted.

Justin Fox outlines the findings.

1. Women boost attendance. Female directors are 30% less likely to not show up to meetings. When there are female directors around, men show up more often, too.
2. Women have a significant impact on corporate governance. Once you've got a woman in the mix, CEOs are more likely to lose their jobs over poor stock performance. You see the same effect when boards have a large fraction of outside directors. Women do not, however, meaningfully alter the level of CEO pay or the amount of it that is incentive-based. (It's worth noting, women are less likely to sit on compensation committees.)
3. Women hurt corporate profits. Well, that's not exactly what the researchers say. What they say is when companies score high on a particular measure of corporate governance (the ability to resist takeovers), having women on the board hurts performance—as measured by return on assets and Tobin's q. However, when corporate governance is weak, they actually give companies a boost. [More]
It was my observation as women began showing up on Farm Bureau, school, and other organizational boards similar things happened.  I think the meetings went better because the discussions stayed away from ribald jokes and farming stories. There was a tendency for a woman to be elected secretary or at least tasked to take notes, which made a quantum leap in board efficiency since you weren't always starting at square one, and the notes were actually legible.

These days locally, women may be carry the larger burden of community governance simply because they volunteer.

As women slowly become more common in the hierarchy of agriculture it will be interesting to see what changes in our traditional patterns of behavior and commerce will result.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice pay for a director as GM in Canada has asked a lady from I believe Richard Ivey business school (she has a top spot there ) to be a director--$200,000 plus a free car----not bad for a part time position and using gov't money too----Toyota sounds better every day---hey I like that tundra--regards-kevin