More on gender and analytical problems

Here is another interesting story with a gender angle. A study shows that stockholders in companies with women in the Board achieved better returns than those without.
The obvious and likely correct point is that women add something valuable to the Board and is the company performs better. Diversity is a good thing in general, not least when it comes to considering complex issues with multiple stakeholders. It makes a good deal of sense to get this result.

Of course it’s not the only possible reason. It’s also not absolute proof that putting women onto a men-only Board would improve performance.

The problem is cause and effect. It might be that enlightened Boards add well-performing companies are more likely to add women to their Board. It might be that successful companies spend the time to get their Board composition right.

Finally, it might be stronger than the diversity argument. Women may simply be better at running companies than men. It’s a pity there are too few women-only boards to compare their performance to help answer the question whether women are better board members than men or is the benefit simply one of diversity. Interesting implications for other forms of diversity on Boards too.