Corporations: can they really have it all? Not unless they open the doors of their board rooms to women. According to a gigantic new study, stock prices of corporations with a little estrogen on their boards outperformed their bro-tastic peers during the financial crisis by a significant and noticeable margin. Guess this means giving women important jobs doesn't lead to them embezzling company money to spend it all on shoes and cushy luxury tampons; instead, giving women a say results in big, ovary shaped zeroes added to the end of the bottom line.
The study, conducted by Credit Suisse Research Institute, found that during the financial crisis, companies with market caps of over $10 billion (in layman's terms: "big fucking companies") that included women on their boards had stock prices that outperformed their peers by 26% over six years. Researchers also found that the correlation between women and corporate success intensified after everything went haywire, economically-speaking, and they surmise that this is evidence of women on corporate boards providing a much-needed voice of prudence to reign in men's tendency to take more risks. Credit Suisse Research Institute's Mary Curtis, the author of the report, told Business Week,
Companies with women on boards really outperformed when the downturn came through in 2008. Stocks of companies with women on boards tend to be a little more risk averse and have on average a little less debt, which seems to be one of the key reasons why they've outperformed so strongly in this particular period.
It's like a beer commercial when ladies ruin all of the fun, except instead of ruining the fun, they save giant corporations from hoards of angry shareholders by keeping them from getting tribal tattoos on their necks. Or, uh, from over leveraging themselves.
But stock price wasn't the only arena in which the presence of women bolstered companies during times of turmoil — among the 2,360 companies analyzed by Credit Suisse, the presence of women on corporate boards was also correlated with larger growth of net income, smaller debt-to-income ratio, and quicker paydown of corporate debt compared to companies that stocked their board room with bros. Even in industries that tend to be more "defensive" and less risky by nature — health care, for example — companies with women in the board room still outperformed men over the last several years.
Despite the benefit of including women on boards of directors, 36% of US corporations still don't include a single female board member. You've got a long way to go, baby.
This set of data adds another confusing wrench into the gears of American conservatives' ever-chugging logical processes — if the key to economic success is unfettered corporate profits, and if corporations and Mitt Romneys are What Makes America Great, then it should, logically, be in America's best interest to make sure those corporations and Romneybots make as much money as possible, so they can pee it out on the poor for a "trickle down" effect. And if promoting the presence of women on corporate boards is good for companies' bottom lines, and therefore Good for Amurrica, it would make sense for the government to help foster a legal environment that encouraged women to get more involved in the upper echelons of corporate America, not less. That means equal pay for equal work, paid maternity leave, and, yes, easy, affordable access to birth control and abortion, should women choose to use them. Encouraging women to get their pretty little heads back into the ruffled gingham zone of the kitchen is actually anti-productivity, anti-profits, anti-capitalist, and — dare I say it — anti-American.