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Gender Equity Insights 2020: Delivering the Business Outcomes


  • Rebecca Cassells

    (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin University)

  • Alan S Duncan

    (Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin University)


Leadership has never been more important as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 crisis and towards an economic recovery that workers, families and businesses are depending on. The business case for increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions has long been argued, with greater diversity of thought delivering new ideas, new management styles and ultimately better business outcomes. Now, more than ever, it is a compelling case. In this fifth report in the BCEC|WGEA Gender Equity Insights series, we find a strong and convincing causal relationship between increasing the share of women in leadership and subsequent improvements in company performance. This relationship is present when increasing women’s representation on boards, increasing the share of women in the most senior leadership tier of the company and when appointing a female CEO. Taking advantage of the longitudinal nature of the WGEA reporting data, we are able to assess just how much influence women in leadership have on company performance. This has been done using sophisticated econometric panel data techniques that relate prior changes in female leadership shares to subsequent company performance outcomes. Our methodology takes into account other firm characteristics that influence business performance, intrinsic differences between individual companies as well as business cycle effects. The findings in this report provide clear support for the business case. More women at the top means better company performance, greater productivity and greater profitability.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Cassells & Alan S Duncan, 2020. "Gender Equity Insights 2020: Delivering the Business Outcomes," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Report series GE05, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:bcecrs:ge05

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    Cited by:

    1. Christine O’Connell & Merryn McKinnon, 2021. "Perceptions of Barriers to Career Progression for Academic Women in STEM," Societies, MDPI, vol. 11(2), pages 1-20, March.


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