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Research: Adding Women to the C-Suite Changes How Companies Think

Research has shown that firms with more women in senior positions are more profitable, more socially responsible, and provide safer, higher-quality customer experiences — among many other benefits. And of course, there is a clear moral argument for increasing diversity among top management teams (TMTs). But when it comes to explaining why having more female executives is associated with better business outcomes, and what specific mechanisms cause those positive changes, existing research is much more limited.

As leaders in the European market, the firms we analyzed were all actively involved in activities associated with strategic innovation (e.g., technology-based M&A and internal R&D) during the observation period — but we found that their approaches to those initiatives varied significantly. Specifically, we were able to identify three distinct trends around shifts in firms’ strategic thinking following the appointment of female executives.

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