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“We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results”

Professor Chris Bart of McMaster University in Canada in an interview last month that had feminists frothing British grandmaster Nigel Short told New in Chess magazine “we should gracefully accept” that women just aren’t as good as men at chess. Just to twist the knife a little further Short then also implied his wife can’t park either. However, he did make the reasonable point that men and women simply have “different skills”, and, perhaps realising the reversing comment may have been a step too far, the chess champion told of his wife’s superior emotional intelligence. So who in the great battle of the sexes, we wondered here at Verve, makes the better boss?

A recent report by Gallup entitled “State of the American Manager” concludes that women do, in fact, make better leaders. It found employees of female bosses to be 6% more engaged and those female bosses themselves to be 41% more engaged than their male counterparts. Those working under woman were 1.26 times more likely to agree to the statement that “There is someone at work who encourages my development”. Among the report’s other conclusions are that female managers are likely to surpass the male ones in cultivating potential in others, in helping to define a bright future for their employees and in harnessing the power of positive reinforcement.

“Men and women simply have ‘different skills’”

A 2013 study by the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics interviewed 600 board directors and found women to be far fairer than men when making decisions that affected others, whether that be employees, investors or stakeholders. “We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results,” writes study co-author professor Chris Bart of McMaster University in Canada. “Our findings show that having women on the board is no longer just the right thing but also the smart thing to do. Companies with few female directors may actually be shortcoming their investors.”


It’s not all good news for the girls however. Also two years ago UK fashion firm Hobbs asked its 2,500 female employees which boss they prefer and over a third said men. A 2012 study by One Poll found that two thirds of women prefer to take their orders from men while a Spanish study published in the journal Sex Roles found females to be “more prejudice against the idea of a female leader” than males which echoes the controversial ‘Queen Bee Syndrome’, a 1970s study which concluded women in authority treat their female staff more severely than they do the guys.

I’m lucky enough to work for two wonderful lady editors and certainly believe that the world would benefit greatly from women taking a greater lead in all manner of prominent roles. There’d be certainly be a hell of a lot less ponytail pulling and waiters left to work in peace.

Words: Jamie Christian Desplaces