Wil Sillen's post

Wil Sillen

8 w

Companies with more women on the board do less greenwashing
By: Chantal Blommers
Companies with more women on their boards are more honest about how sustainable they are and less inclined to greenwash. This has emerged from years of research by three English universities in 29 countries, including the Netherlands. Religion also appears to play a prominent role.
Time and time again, studies show that having a diverse board is good for a company. Female managers in the team ensure better financial results and more attention to sustainability. New research now shows that companies with more women at the top are also more honest about the sustainable choices they make. Greenwashing is less common, they don't pretend to be greener than they are. Researchers from the universities of Loughborough, Portsmouth and Brunel University London came to this conclusion after examining some 4,000 companies between 2005 and 2019. There were also companies from the Netherlands.

The scientists looked at the composition of organizations, at what the companies announced about their sustainable performance and the actual choices that were made and actions that were taken. The greater the difference between what companies say they do and what they actually do, the more there is greenwashing. Based on this, the scientists say they provide evidence that companies with a diverse board do more to achieve the goals in the areas of the environment, people and society and good governance. In addition, these companies are more honest about the performance they deliver.
Fewer risks
The researchers mention two theories in their findings: the upper echelons theory and the theory of gender socialization. Both theories describe that women in general have different character traits than men and that these can play an important role in the decisions they make. In this way they take fewer risks and make more 'ethical decisions'. Women are more likely to speak out against abuses and fraud. Their findings support those theories, according to the scientists. "These results are particularly important in underlining the importance of female director nominations," the researchers write. They advocate that countries - which have not yet done so - impose a quota to achieve more diversity in management.

In the Netherlands, since 1 January 2022, the in-growth quota law and target figures have been in force to ensure a better male-female ratio at the top of the business community. The law prescribes that at least one third of the board must consist of women or at least one third of the board must consist of men. Large companies must also draw up target figures and draw up a plan of action for a good balance in the management.

Religion also plays an important role in how sustainable organizations are, according to the English study. According to the scientists, in countries where religion plays an important role, companies are generally more traditionally organized. There you will therefore find fewer women at the top of the business community and this in turn has a (negative) influence on the sustainable choices that are made.
The researchers write that it is important that further research is done. Currently, only gender diversity has been considered, while other characteristics of diversity such as age, ethnicity and nationality can also influence how a board reaches decisions.

  • Waigwa Monica

    7 w

    Women are honest than men. lool

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