Research has shown that corporations with women on their boards are more successful. Considerably more successful. In a summary of a recent study, April Sweazy wrote:
Despite a rough economic period, Fortune 500 companies with three or more women in board positions created a competitive advantage over companies with no women on their boards in the following three areas:
- Return on Sales: 84% advantage
- Return on Invested Capital: 60% advantage
- Return on Equity: 46% advantage
This study was conducted on financial results of 524 public companies, which demonstrated a sustained commitment to women in leadership, as measured by the presence of women on their boards for four of the five years analyzed. Previous studies in the series have also found a connection between gender diversity on corporate boards and financial performance.
Bloomberg Business Week reported: "Shares of companies with a market capitalization of more than $10 billion and with women board members outperformed comparable businesses with all-male boards by 26 percent worldwide over a period of six years, according to a report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute, created in 2008 to analyze trends expected to affect global markets." An interesting side note here is that in another study, it was found that companies with three or more women on their boards donated — are you ready for this — twenty-eight times more than companies without women on their boards!
What is true of companies is also true of countries. Countries have more of everything when their women have more rights. Look at the countries in the world with the strongest middle class and greatest degree of freedom of expression. They all have one thing in common: Women have higher status and more rights in those countries. And look at the countries with the weakest middle class and the most censorship. Women have the lowest status and fewer rights in those countries.
Countries and companies are better off when men and women can work together. And because of our greater degree of women's rights, the free world has twice as much potential brain power as the world of submission. And it's more than that. We have women and men working together, and all they have is men. They are at a great disadvantage in creativity, perspective, mutual support, and pure intelligence. In The New York Times, Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof wrote:
Bill Gates recalls once being invited to speak in Saudi Arabia and finding himself facing a segregated audience. Four-fifths of the listeners were men, on the left. The remaining one-fifth were women, all covered in black cloaks and veils, on the right. A partition separated the two groups. Toward the end, in the question-and-answer session, a member of the audience noted that Saudi Arabia aimed to be one of the Top 10 countries in the world in technology by 2010 and asked if that was realistic. “Well, if you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country,” Gates said, “you’re not going to get too close to the Top 10.” The small group on the right erupted in wild cheering.
Historically, we have seen a steady, unrelenting increase in women's rights around the world. This will not stop. Why? Because it is a self-evident truth that women are human beings who deserve the same rights and privileges as any other human being.
To help freedom grow and to help orthodox Islam die out, we should focus on empowering women and girls throughout the world. Help women gain an equal voice everywhere on earth. The stronger women become, the weaker orthodox Islam becomes. The effort to enfranchise and give power to women directly neutralizes and nullifies orthodox Islam. Go to the Girl Effect website and get involved. Recruit your friends and family into the cause. This is a purpose we can all get behind. Join the Girl Effect on FaceBook to get updates.
Read more about how helping girls can save the world in the book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
In our quest to spread women's rights around the world, we will utterly undermine orthodox Islam, weakening, out-dating and marginalizing it, until it no longer presents a threat to the march of freedom. We will win because free women and free men can accomplish more than dominant men who force their women to submit.