Scandinavia’s biggest bank has studied almost 11,000 publicly traded companies across the globe and the results are crystal clear: firms with a woman running the show perform far better than the market.
These are “solid results,” said Robert Naess, the manager of $42-billion in stocks at Nordea Bank, who designed the study.
The Nordea analysis shows firms that at the end of the calendar year were run by women (either as a CEO or as head of the board of directors) went on to beat the benchmark index in the next 12 months. More specifically, companies led by women have returned 25% a year since 2009, which is more than double the 11% the MSCI World Index has delivered, based on equal weightings.
“You can get a better return this way,” Naess said. “This effect can absolutely persist.”
As to why female CEOs deliver better results, the study is less clear. Naess suggests that women tend to be more conservative in their predictions, leaving more room for positive surprises.
Naess said the fact that only the very best women make it to the top means they’re just higher-calibre people than a lot of male CEOs.