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BizReport : Internet : May 21, 2017

Expert: Why gender parity is key for business

There have been several reports over the past year pointing to the fact that female entrepreneurs don't have the same access to funding and investment dollars that their male counterparts do. There is also a disparity between women at the executive level of many large businesses; one expert explains why, and why it is important to change.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why does gender parity at the board level matter?

Coco Brown, founder and CEO, The Athena Alliance: Research shows companies perform better on almost any financial metric of business success when there is gender parity at the board level. From big investment firms like Morgan Stanley to State Street, influencers are insisting that companies demonstrate significant efforts to increase diversity. Additionally, it's important for employees to see themselves represented at all levels. One doesn't feel included if she is the only woman in the room, or at the company.

Kristina: Can you describe the science behind the correlation between gender and company performance?

Coco: Numerous studies show that a greater balance in boardrooms and at the C-suite level correlates directly with increased returns and adds more diversity across skill sets and thought processes. Additionally, research shows that public companies with more women on boards are less likely to experience scandals that interrupt business operation.

Kristina: How do C-level executive men respond when they realize their possible influence?

Coco: When C-level executive men realize their possible influence on the gender parity issue, most of them are enthusiastic. They have always supported the idea of helping women achieve this goal, but they didn't understand their roles earlier.

More from Coco and the Athena Alliance next week, including how to change the slow-moving pace of female roles in business.

Tags: Athena Alliance, business trends, entrepreneur trends, gender parity in business

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