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Female-led firms fare better, says research

By EARLE GALE in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-03-09 09:07
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UK businesses led by women outperform those with men at the helm, according to new research released on International Women's Day.

Academics from the universities of Glasgow and Leicester commissioned by the UK's official opposition-the Labour Party-used official data from the House of Commons' library to conclude that businesses in the top quartile for gender equality on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than those in the bottom quartile.

Companies with more than 30 percent female top teams were also more likely to all-around outperform enterprises with fewer women in senior positions.

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour Party's spokeswoman on women and equalities, said the findings should motivate companies to ensure women play a central role in their recovery from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.

"When you've got more engagement from women, when women are in the driving seat to the extent they should be, it makes for far more successful businesses," she was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

Dodds said the Conservative Party government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson ignored women's needs during the pandemic and continues to overlook them.

Specifically, she said inadequate and overpriced childcare services in many parts of the UK have prevented many women from becoming fully involved in the workforce. Some areas have lost 25 percent of their childcare places during the past six years.

The Labour Party research noted that despite the benefits women clearly bring to companies' senior teams, only eight FSTE 100 companies currently have female CEOs, and none has a woman of color in charge.

Fawcett Society's Sex and Power 2022 report said its research shows that women occupy 14 percent of executive directorships, and 38 percent of all UK directorships.

And global research conducted by gender equality advocates Equileap found that women make up around 20 percent of top teams in the UK.Equileap said its research suggests 6 percent of UK companies have a female CEO, and 13 percent have a female chief financial officer.

Reuters reported that women who do make it onto companies' senior management teams tend to be less well paid than their male colleagues.

And, more generally, research from the think tank Center for American Progress said the 52.1 million women who worked full time in the United States in 2019 were paid 82 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.

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