Companies with women in leadership positions are more profitable than those without

Soyoung Han (PIIE) and Marcus Noland (PIIE)

May 7, 2020

Companies with women in leadership positions are more profitable than those without

Firms with women in executive officer and director positions post higher annual profit margins than those without female leaders. Between 1997 and 2017, firms with at least one female director or executive officer consistently reported larger profit margins.
For firms with female directors, the advantage has been consistent across the sample period, but the trend became more pronounced for companies with women executive officers.

Women leaders could improve company performance in multiple ways. Greater skills diversity amongst the company leadership may improve management performance, women in upper management positions may also motivate women throughout the company workforce, and firms that do not discriminate can better match talent to jobs.

This PIIE Chart was adapted from Soyoung Han and Marcus Noland’s Policy Brief, “Women scaling the corporate ladder: Progress steady but slow globally.”

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Soyoung Han Research Analysts
Marcus Noland Senior Research Staff