Why do women need this even though we outperform men in business?
The Bottom Line: Women Outperform Men in Business yet still we need SB 826
According to Yahoo Finance, research shows that women-led companies have the tendency to outperform men-led companies in terms of earnings and stock-price performance. In other words, a company’s bottom line.
However most people seem to believe there is something innate about men’s ability to ‘lead’, to ‘drive profits’, to remain ‘objective’, ‘logical’ and ‘collected’ when it comes to making business decisions.
Women on the other hand, are often branded ‘soft service oriented’, ‘emotional’, ‘subjective’ or even ‘door mats’.
I experienced this prejudice first hand when I was told by a previous employer that I had not been promoted to a senior position I was qualified for, because: “I’d probably get hysterical in the board room”. Yes really.
The same manager spent his first and only year at the company taking yachting holidays and month-long extended business trips, while I held down the fort doing his job sans the salary, until he was finally fired.
Resilience not hysteria defines us
Like my story, I’m sure most women who have made their careers in publicly owned corporations are familiar with hard work without receiving credit or recognition for it.
Building up resilience, stamina and a work ethic based on our own moral guidelines when no one is watching or patting us on the back for it. We go to work to do a good job despite being paid less, despite watching our male peers climb the ladder more quickly, despite being discriminated against.
And I personally believe, it is this resilience and depth that leads to better results in business, rather than ego-based decisions or leadership motivated by personal gain.
That’s why women-led companies outperform men-led. And that’s why as of January 2017, there are an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States that employ nearly 9 million people and generate more than $1.7 trillion in revenues. The State of Women-Owned Businesses, 2017.
But still only 4.2% of Fortune 500 companies have women in the top position and one-fourth of California’s publicly-held corporations have no women directors on their boards.
Do we really need laws to save us seats in the boardroom?
Some suggest that we shouldn’t need laws to enforce equality, that we should get there on our own merits.
But then why haven’t we? Are only 4.2% of women working hard enough to reach the top? I believe women who have spent the best years of their lives dedicating 60 hours a week to a corporation, would be insulted by this suggestion.
We rationally and rightfully look to the law to enforce more gender diversity and equity, because there is an unfair imbalance despite the stats, hard work and dedication that women apply to their jobs.
And by the way, men save each other seats at the board table all the time! Why shouldn’t women have a few saved for them?
California is the first state to require more women on boards – SB 826
In 2018 we celebrated a small but significant step in California as the first state to require more female board members at publicly owned companies with the passing of Senate Bill 826 (SB 826). This bill requires every publicly-held corporation in California to have a minimum of one woman on its board of directors by the end of 2019 and beginning July 2021 it requires a minimum of two women directors on boards with five independent directors and at least three women on boards with six or more independent directors.
Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire explains in the video, why this bill should be catching your eye as either a woman business owner, or woman employee, because in addition to your day job, you now have a stronger chance at earning $250K per year by sitting on a board!
I say way to go!