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Don’t Hire Women for Diversity’s Sake, Hire Women To Grow Your Company

Putting the mandate of providing women with equal opportunity in the workplace aside for a moment, hiring more women just makes good business sense. A decade of research by some of the world’s most esteemed think tanks – Carnegie Mellon, London School of Business, Columbia University – points to quantifiable benefits for those businesses that hire women for key positions. Many CEOs, and other business executives, however, are barely aware of these findings since they reside largely in academic papers that these busy decision makers often have little time to read.

The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) pulled the results from several of those recent academic papers and compiled them in a concise format that is designed to give these busy executives the information they need to make their organizations better. Some of the data highlighted by ABI includes:

  • A Carnegie Mellon economist, Professor Anita Woolley found that teams that had at least one member that was female proved to have a higher IQ collectively than teams that were comprised of all males.
  • IT patents analyzed by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) for women’s participation found that those US patents that were produced by teams of mixed gender were cited between 30% and 40% more than other patents that were similar.
  • Dezso and Ross, in a study of 1,500 United States firms that are also in the S&P, revealed that companies whose top management includes female representation showed an improvement in their financial performance when innovation was a key factor of their strategy.
  • Fortune 500 companies that have at least three females in the position of director saw their invested capital returns jump by 66%, their equity returns increase by 53% and their sales returns boosted by 42%.
  • A Gallup poll found that companies who had teams with more diversity, including more female members, had a turnover rate that was 22% lower as well as an easier time recruiting its talent.

The take-away that businesses that want to thrive in these global times need to know is this: diversity breeds solutions that are more creative and innovative. This business strategy simply makes sense. If a team is comprised of those individuals that come from the same type of background when it comes to education, life experience and other factors, chances are that any solutions on the table will be similarly homogenous.

Using an Applicant Tracking System is a method that allows businesses to easily organize all of their hiring practices. Not only can firms keep track of the gender of their applicants, other parameters can be designated so that tracking those applicants that meet the goals of the company is more intuitive and streamlined.

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