Do Women Executives Drive Profits?

The effect of estrogen on corporate profits has been grossly exaggerated, according to Lucy Kellaway's latest column in the Financial Times. Kellaway, a non-executive director of the FTSE 100, challenges the connection between women and profitability suggested by the book Womenomics. In the first place, Kellaway writes, in order to prove such a link you'd need to run the numbers using a large sample of women executives, a sample that does not currently exist. Since running the numbers is out, Kellaway asked board members at FTSE what her femaleness contributed to the company. Male board members felt that she and the other female board member slightly tempered testosterone-fuelled aggression, had a small motivational effect on female staff members, were marginally good for external PR, and made board dinners more interesting.