After widespread criticism over its all-male board, Twitter revealed Thursday that Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino will join its board of directors, according to an SEC filing. Scardino, 66, is the first woman to fill a seat for the company, which went public last month. According to a Bloomberg report, during her time at Pearson, Scardino has doubled headcount and tripled sales--increasing the education and publishing company's share price by almost 80 percent. Experts tout her experience running a media company has a major win for Twitter.
Why should you care? It's a good reminder that gender diversity can give a company--any company--a serious advantage.
Women make up just 19 percent of directors on the boards of Standard and Poor’s 100 companies, according to investment management company Calvert. Meanwhile many experts agree that a lack of diversity stifles innovation. In addition to adding a diverse voice, here are three ways that companies like Twitter can benefit from having a woman sit on its board:
Collaboration. According to Stanford professor and entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, who is also writing a book about the lack of women in Silicon Valley business, women tend to value working in teams more than men do. "They generally talk a lot more about their partners and the support that they got and mentorship," he told Inc.
Doing more with less. Research from the Kauffman Institute found that women-led startups launch with about half as much capital as male-led startups. In general, they are just plain better at bootstrapping.
Financial gain. Researchers from the University of Michigan and Cornell University found that companies with greater gender diversity saw better results from IPOs -- as much as 30 percent on average.
For more research on how diversity impacts the workplace, check out this full article.