Women make better decisions than men

Julia Thomson | Hamilton, Ontario | March 25, 2013
Chris Bart

Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at DeGroote

Women’s abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders, researchers have found.

A survey of more than 600 board directors showed that women are more likely to consider the rights of others and to take a cooperative approach to decision-making. This approach translates into better performance for their companies.

The study, which was published this week in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, was conducted by Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, and Gregory McQueen, a McMaster graduate and senior executive associate dean at A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.

“We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results,” explains Bart. “Our findings show that having women on the board is no longer just the right thing but also the smart thing to do. Companies with few female directors may actually be shortchanging their investors.”

Bart and McQueen found that male directors, who made up 75% of the survey sample, prefer to make decisions using rules, regulations and traditional ways of doing business or getting along.

Female directors, in contrast, are less constrained by these parameters and are more prepared to rock the boat than their male counterparts.

In addition, women corporate directors are significantly more inclined to make decisions by taking the interests of multiple stakeholders into account in order to arrive at a fair and moral decision. They will also tend to use cooperation, collaboration and consensus-building more often – and more effectively – in order to make sound decisions.

Women seem to be predisposed to be more inquisitive and to see more possible solutions. At the board level where directors are compelled to act in the best interest of the corporation while taking the viewpoints of multiple stakeholders into account, this quality makes them more effective corporate directors,

explains McQueen.

Globally, women make up approximately 9% of corporate board memberships. Arguments for gender equality, quotas and legislation have done little to increase female representation in the boardroom, despite evidence showing that their presence has been linked to better organizational performance, higher rates of return, more effective risk management and even lower rates of bankruptcy. Bart’s and McQueen’s finding that women’s higher quality decision-making ability makes them more effective than their male counterparts gives boards a method to deal with the multifaceted social issues and concerns currently confronting corporations.

The International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics is available online.

How do people make decisions?

  • Personal interest reasoning: The decision maker is motivated by ego, selfishness and the desire to avoid trouble. This method is most often exhibited by young children who largely tend to be motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
  • Normative reasoning: The decision maker tries to avoid “rocking the boat” by adhering to rules, laws or norms. Stereotypical examples of groups that use this form of reasoning include organizations with strong established cultures like Mary Kay or the US Marines.
  • Complex moral reasoning: The decision maker acknowledges and considers the rights of others in the pursuit of fairness by using a social cooperation and consensus building approach that is consistently applied in a non-arbitrary fashion.

Why should boards have more female directors?

  • Boards with high female representation experience a 53% higher return on equity, a 66% higher return on invested capital and a 42% higher return on sales (Joy et al., 2007).
  • Having just one female director on the board cuts the risk of bankruptcy by 20% (Wilson, 2009).
  • When women directors are appointed, boards adopt new governance practices earlier, such as director training, board evaluations, director succession planning structures (Singh and Vinnicombe, 2002)
  • Women make other board members more civilized and sensitive to other perspectives (Fondas and Sassalos, 2000) and reduce ‘game playing’ (Singh, 2008)
  • Female directors are more likely to ask questions rather than nodding through decisions (Konrad et al., 2008).

Call To Action

Television Editors – Live interviews with Chris Bart can be arranged using the
DeGroote School of Business’s broadcast studio. Call Julia Thomson 905-525-9140
ext. 24871 to schedule airtime and book a live feed from campus.

Pictures

Comments

132 Responses to Women make better decisions than men

  1. Brandon says:

    I realize this article is about survey results gathered for a journal, but leading with a headline, “Women make better decisions than men” is about as sexist as it gets.

    I fully support having women in top jobs, but making a blanket statement that EITHER gender is better at making decisions is inherently sexist. It’s the very definition of sexism, really.

    • Jared Lenover says:

      Fair enough. It’s true that the title is a major simplification of the article.

      I think the main point is that, on average, women tend to make decisions differently than men. This different way of reasoning can be beneficial in the boardroom, and it’s sometimes lacking on boards which are only made up of men.

      Thanks for calling us out on the wording though. We appreciate the feedback.

      Jared
      Marketing Officer
      DeGroote School of Business

      • Paul Elam says:

        I doubt seriously that you will let this comment stand, but that is fine, I have the ability to make sure it is read by a lot more people than will read it here, anyway.

        Your title is not a simplification, it is a sexist generalization, and it is not supportable in any way with empirical evidence.

        I certainly appreciate the desire of any business to appeal to women, but what you have actually done here is insulting to both sexes. Women don’t need to be sold stereotypes and false generalizations in order for an educational product to appeal to them. That is the cheap, easy way out.

        And men, who are rapidly being marginalized in the realm of education (check the statistics at your own school with projections for the future) certainly don’t benefit from propaganda that paints them as inferior. And that is exactly what you are doing here. You did not say men and women make decisions “differently”, you said women made “better” decisions.

        Whether intentional or not, this is an outrage to anyone who opposes sexism. To see it so boldly demonstrated at a modern institution of higher education goes beyond disappointment.

      • Mark Neil says:

        Except that’s not what you’re saying. Some examples of touting female superiority rather than simply being different. The first claims superior leadership, the second superior fairness and morality

        “Women’s abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders”

        “In addition, women corporate directors are significantly more inclined to make decisions by taking the interests of multiple stakeholders into account in order to arrive at a fair and moral decision”

        Women making different decisions, and those decisions being beneficial, in no way says those decisions are “better”, only that they are beneficial. The decisions made by men are very likely also beneficial, and if men were not there, I suspect overall company performance would drop. None of this justifies claims of superiority.

      • drew s says:

        Speaking as an MBA, with nearly twenty years of experience working in private industry, I can assure you that women and men in leadership positions generally make very similar decisions.
        As far as their “superiority” in leadership or decision making (or as to their superior morality) the recent failures of Jill Barbados, Carly Fiorino, and Carol Bartz (of Mattell, Hewlett Packard, and Yahoo, respectively) come to mind.
        Though briefly high-profile, none of them enjoyed spectacular success, to say the least, and their inclusiveness, tolerance, “morality,” or (insert trendy PC/HR buzzword here) struck most of us in the business community as average, at best.
        My own CEO is female, and does a fine job at the helm – not because of her gender, but because of her abilities, intelligence, and work ethic.
        That’s probably what your institution should focus on, rather than pandering drivel like this article.

    • Cathy McLean says:

      Based on my years of experience, I have observed that both men and women are equally capable of making bad decisions, as well as good decisions. The survey indicates that men have a ‘preference’ to base decisions on rules, regulations and traditional ways of making business decisions, not that they are incapable of using other criteria. The factors that are taken into consideration, and how they should be weighted, are dependent upon the nature of the problem being addressed. Some circumstances require a rules based approach, while others require greater emphasis on a collaborative and consensus building approach. Smart people (of either gender) will know the difference!

      • Amy Anderson says:

        Exactly. The authors of this “study” are making outrageous and absurd claims based on very limited data. They are essentially finding that for the men and women at the corporate boardroom level (you can say nothing about men and women in general, as a sample of female and male directors is not representative of the general population), there are some differences in coming to decisions that show these women are more “inclusive.” They tie this together with some findings that having women on boards leads to better GROUP outcomes, and conclude therefore that women’s decisions must therefore be better ones. Of course this is absurd if you apply some critical thinking for five seconds. The other researchers who conducted the studies about women on boards essentially said that having women makes the board more diverse and differing perspectives can be considered, leading to better group decisions – not that these women make better decisions than the men! Of course research by psychologists in the individual differences field find that men and women do not make decisions all that differently, in direct contradiction to what these dolts are claiming.

  2. Susie Parker says:

    Oh! I see it must have been a very stupid man who made the very stupid decision to alienate half the population in the United Stats with this very stupid pandering come on for female only students.

    Best of luck to you -

    • Ecclesiastes says:

      Yes, Susie. That is exactly so, and even *that* is a blatantly sexist thing to say.

      It takes relatively few mistakes to ruin a reputation of excellence, and publishing this screed was a big mistake. It is empirically indefensible, which is not the sort of work any business that expects to remain solvent can rely upon. It is in no way ‘excellent.’

      Continuing in the same vein, as you suggest, the criticism has been laid upon a MAN. So, even as pandering to women is criticized, we pander to women.

      Assuming you’re being sarcastic, you’re right, Susie P, this crap was probably produced by a woman.

    • Paul M says:

      Meh. Men are catching on to the fact that higher education is a money-making scam. Maybe it’s because we can add and understand compounding interest. Women are happy to take on a five-figure student loan, maybe because each of them expects to find a man to pay for it.

      How’s that working out or you, ladies? Not terribly well,m I gather.

  3. Michael says:

    “A survey of more than 600 board directors showed that women are more likely to consider the rights of others and to take a cooperative approach to decision-making.”

    You mean like the rights of non-custodial fathers to be equal parents and have equal access to their children that is strongly fought so hard against by women?

    Your pandering to women because they are perceived as your biggest consumer now with %63.7 of women in University programs.

  4. Mike says:

    In a society where women constantly guilt and manipulate men and the government to give them free things and make legal for their bad decisions made, I find it difficult to believe that women make better decisions than men.

    In my own life, the worst bosses/managers I’ve ever dealt with were female.

    Either way, can you imagine the backlash if an article was titled “Men make better decisions than women”?

    Stop the double standards.

  5. Mike Buchanan says:

    When I was sent a link to this piece, I honestly assumed it was an ‘April Fool’s Day’ joke – I don’t know if that’s unique to the UK, but basically it refers to a ridiculous story presented as a serious one on serious platforms (usually newspapers, but sometimes websites), to take in the general public. But it’s a few days too early, and it’s clear it’s not.

    How to respond? Well, you cite a report (Joy et al.) from Catalyst, a militant feminist campaigning organisation, and Prof Susan Vinnicombe, so let’s dispose of those two swiftly with one blog piece.

    http://c4mb.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/a-remarkable-statement-by-a-leading-proponent-of-improved-gender-diversity-in-the-boardroom/

    Then there’s the longitiudoinal studies which show conclusively that increasing female representation on corporate boards leads to declines in corporate performance (not one longitudinal study in the world has show an improvement):

    http://c4mb.wordpress.com/improving-gender-diversity-on-boards-leads-to-a-decline-in-corporate-performance-the-evidence/

    Feel free to contact me for more explanation of why your assertion, ‘Women make better decisions than men’ is… now, what’s the word I’m searcing for?… oh yes, that’s it… wrong.

    Have a nice day.

    Mike Buchanan

    CAMPAIGN FOR MERIT IN BUSINESS
    http://c4mb.wordpress.com

    • confusion says:

      Inappropriate? Ha! Not that I saw the comment, but you’d think that if this article stands then anything would be fair game!

  6. Jared Lenover says:

    We want this to be a place where alternate points of view, and criticism, can be shared. However, please challenge the ideas instead of attacking anyone involved.

    I want to clarify that the authors of this study did *not* write the title for this article. (I realize we’re discussing more than that, but I wanted to be clear.)

    Thank you for the alternative articles, Mr. Buchanan. And thank you for all the alternate points of view. I’m not in a position to comment on the research directly, but hopefully others following this article can.

    Jared
    Marketing Officer
    DeGroote School of Business

    • Esto_Vir says:

      Jared,
      You have requested that those who comment on the article refrain from making attacks, fair enough. But is not your article an example of the exact opposite of that? Double Standard? “Women are better at…” is a directly implied attack on the assumed weaknesses of men, not to mention very one sided and hardly worth of publication with no counter point provided. I think others have already expressed that the “research” is severely lacking, but if we change the headline to “Whites make better decisions than blacks” would you also see that as acceptable, or is gender bigotry especially tolerated?

      Bigotry is bigotry. I think we all agree that “in general” men and women make decisions differently, and have different strengths and weaknesses, but to empirically state that one is better than the other, ridiculous and definitely has no place in business or education, nor does this support the idea of equal contributions of all people.

      I think your institution should be issuing an apology for both its poor research and flat out bigotry in this article.

  7. Linus says:

    The definition of SEXIST – If the genders were reversed, would there be an uproar?
    In this case? YES.

    Thank you McMaster and DeGroote for exposing exactly how sexist, misandrist and pandering your university truly is, especially Julia Thomson and Chris Bart, who wrote and approved this “research”.

    At MRN, we are consistently fighting against this brand of “feminism” parading as “research”.

    Do you really believe that all the huge companies that exist (or have existed, ie. ATT, Ford, Microsoft, etc.) are bad businesses because of their “all-male” directors or board? That is what you are presuming.

    Women certainly have the ability to provide a fresh, different and unique view to decision-making at any company – but to blatantly declare they are “BETTER” (or men are worse) is simple feminism, misandry, and WRONG.

    Again, if someone said “Men were better at decision-making than women”, there would be an outrage and cries of sexism, misogyny, etc. – and the author would be fired or fined.

    Both genders bring strengths – it is not necessary to trash one to attract the other (except at your “school”).

  8. Jason says:

    As others have pointed out, this article is not only offensive but not based on fact.
    Worse, it is transparent pandering that insults the very women they hope to attract to their programs.

    As a father of both a boy and a girl, I would be very hesitant to send either of my children to an institution that relies of gutter tactics like this instead of showing that their programs were effective.
    Make no mistake that is exactly what this article states.
    That the sex you are born is of greater significance that your individual talents and the benefits granted by a quality education in the business world.

    Now if your sources were examined, I am positive that your “study” could be easily debunked as junk science, such fluff pieces of journalism often are. You really should ask yourself if that is the image you want to portray?
    An institution of higher learning with nothing better than yellow press coverage and no decent plan to turn out successful graduates other than, “Let’s enroll alot of women and hope it pays off”.

    @ Jared Lenover
    Your take on the article is not at all what is stated.
    This is just another woman good, man bad piece of garbage you have the unenviable job of defending.
    Show me one instance of this article saying anything at all positive about men. Or where it mentions the negative aspects of female leadership. Because, this is not a fairy tale so every style will have beneficial and negative aspects.
    No where does this even make a claim that men and women can make good teams. It boldly states female superiority as fact based on nothing more than opinion.
    If that is how you make business decisions, I can see why you are not in the private sector.

  9. Scott Gustafson says:

    I am a professor at a major state university. The title intrigued me, being so blatantly sexist and intentionally inflammatory. As an educational institution, you should be ashamed of yourself for letting such a poorly titled, researched, and written article be publicly promulgated. A cursory examination of your sources (which were not completely cited, so one must dig in order to ferret out the data on which you based your rather spurious conclusions):

    Joy, L., Carter, N. M., Wagner, H. M. & Narayanan, S. (2007): The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards. New York: Catalyst Inc.

    NOT a peer reviewed paper – but a corporate position piece with no fidelity of data to support the authors’ claims.

    Wilson, N and A Altanlar. 2009. “Director Characteristics, Gender Balance and InsolvencyRisk: an empirical study.

    NOT a peer reviewed article, and the conclusion was that empirical inquiries lead to mixed results – the opposite conclusion of this article

    Fondas, N. and S. Sassalos (2000), “A Different Voice in the Boardroom: How the Presence of Women Directors Affects Board Influence”

    This article was based on archival survey data from 1991, and came to the conclusion that boards who included women at the time were more open to shareholder input and had a corporate culture of openness: NOT any specific qualities of the behavior of women. Again, poor research and sourcing.

    It was at this point I stopped seeking the empirical sources for you article, because you had lost all credibility. If one of my graduate students had produced this sexist pile of poorly produced pugnaciousness, I would have a long and serious discussion with them about academic standards. I suggest you may want to consider the same, being that you embarrass yourself as an academic institution by this article’s inclusion in your public discourse.

  10. Dan Perrins says:

    As the Ontario News Director for AVfM Ontario I would love to interview the author sometime.
    I am sure you have seen my stickers.
    Somebody sure does at least. Silly bigoted individuals who don’t believe men’s rights are human rights.
    So yah open offer is the author willing to be Interviewed?
    I only work through emails, don’t like quote mining and such. Like what happened at the

    • Dan Perrins says:

      Damn sloppy fingers I know I am human.
      …. Like what happened at the University of Toronto fiasco When Dr Farrell gave a lecture.
      Nor am I impressed with what Ryerson U is doing either.
      Isn’t the well being of men and boys of concern to these people?
      Dan Perrins

    • Julia Thomson says:

      Given the article that has already been posted on AVfM and the general tone of this discussion, we’re not interested in an interview. Thank you for the offer.

      Julia Thomson
      Manager, Marketing & Communications

      • Esto_Vir says:

        So much for: “We want this to be a place where alternate points of view, and criticism, can be shared.” But not in an interview where they can actually be discussed. “No Dialogue Please!”

      • drew s says:

        Did you expect that this would be well received by the still-very-large percentage of males who work in business?
        One wonders how an article titled “Men Make Far More Logical, Rational Decisions Than Females In Leadership Positions” would be viewed.
        Performance matters, not gender, in firms that add to shareholder value, outperform the market, deliver superior products and services, and do better than their peers.
        Furthermore, if one looks at tech firms, patent filings, STEM workers, entrepreneurs, technical achievements, etc, one would be pretty hard pressed to say that men are inferior as businesspeople.

      • Lucian Vâlsan says:

        So you get to publish this egregiously misandric piece of ideological trash and it is all fine.
        But once Dan from AVFM offers you the opportunity to defend your ideological claims, or perhaps to apologize for this obviously mistaken attitude, you suddenly have a problem with the tone. How convenient.

        Here’s a little secret: Had it not been for this tone, nobody would have even considered that sexism against men is, in fact, sexism – regardless of how much the collectivist-feminist ideology claims it isn’t.

        This article and this attitude is shame for the academic world and without any doubt you should loose as many applicants as possible because once you start loosing money, you’ll be forced to understand that misandry isn’t OK.

        Not-so-best regards,
        European News Director for AVfM.

      • Fidelbogen says:

        I would recommend that you conduct an interview with somebody from the ‘other side’, if only to set the record straight. Judging by the tenor of the comments here, you have made a faux pas that was not well received, and the perception of your meaning (whether rightly or wrongly construed) can only spread to widening circles of the public unless you do a bit of ‘damage control’.

        The zeitgeist is changing now, and the casual anti-male slurs that were the norm a few years ago will increasingly be met with the kind of flack which you see here. Now, I’m sure you did not intend to make any such slur, but it would be in your interest to clarify your meaning, and write more circumspectly in the future.

      • Dan Perrins says:

        That speaks volumes about how you regard fair play and open discussion. It also reveals a thin skin, or shaky research which cannot stand up to critical scrutiny.
        Question do you know the percentage of male suicide victims for the Canadian male population of the 20 to 24 year old demographic?
        I’ll tell you the percentage, 79.8% A 4:1 ratio compared to young women for that age group.

        Would you like to know exactly how many gravestones overt or covert misandry (like what I see in this article) has helped to create between 2000 and 2009? Just for the 20 – 24 age group.

        The total numbers are much more heinous when examined. You’ll have to see my current article to find out. “Why the University of Toronto is so important”

        I was to busy exposing and researching those numbers yesterday.

        If I have time, I might take a look at this author’s studies, but only if there is an interview otherwise it is just a waste of time and with the suicide rate for men and boys, they really don’t have the time.

        If you have the time, for men and boys, google “Domestic Violence Lies From Ottawa” on youtube.
        My work, Ottawa University Prof, Holly Johnson had a hand in that fraudulent paper as an editor. And she is what is considered an ‘expert’ in statistics by the University of Ottawa.

        The offer stands, you have an opportunity here to create a more equitable environment for the male population of your student body.

        I am a busy man and it is education organizations like your’s that help to keep me busy by putting out articles like the one above.

        Is McMaster committed to the ethical treatment of young men?

        Does McMaster University, with ties to the medical community and a hospital on shared property, not wish to take this issue seriously?

        You know, as in deadly serious?

        If the author does not wish to answer any questions perhaps she can go enroll in the critical though course at Mohawk college.
        Critical thought what an idea, it use to be fairly common in schools.

        Dan Perrins.

        AVfM News Ontario.

      • Paul says:

        It’s a shame that universities have been infested with this type of disingenuous & dismissive attitude,that is Yours.

        regards,
        Paul Dimitri

      • LoneWolf says:

        “…and the general tone of this discussion”

        As with most women and manginas, the problem suddenly shifts to the response concerning the original issue while conveniently forgetting all about what caused the unwanted response in the first place. The issue is the “general tone” of your original, sexist, anti-male, misandrist, bigotry-laced, pandering, “you go girl” article… it is not the response taken up by the unfortunate readers of your “academic” tripe.

      • Uncontainable Spirit says:

        The general tone? The General Tone? lol! Priceless. So basically you say something that is not only offensive but inaccurately offensive yet when the very people you’re offending point out the inaccuracies and offensiveness of what you’ve said, “THEY” are the ones with the issue because of their ‘tone’? Wow! I’m not even surprised.

        Men: Go your own way. Trust me.

  11. dingobatty123 says:

    ok, where can we write to complain about this nonsense?? i also don’t like how jared lenover attempts to absolve himself, and the school of any guilt by saying they didn’t write the title for the article, when the bigotry presents itself throughout the entire thing. shameful, sycophantic garbage. sadly predictable though…

  12. dingobatty123 says:

    even the kowtowing and pandering to women in this article seems dated by the male-bashing standards we have today. the hostility toward men is subtler now that people have started to notice these types of things. the obviously catered statements to women about men’s inferiority is so 2010…out of touch. you’ve got to resharpen your male-bashing tactics guys!!

  13. mark jones says:

    This blatantly sexist and poorly researched article may just have cost McMaster a student.
    While researching the websites of the universities that my daughter has chosen, I stumbled across this gem of an article, and if my daughter decides on McMaster, it will be on her own coin, not dad’s.
    She’s a smart girl though, too smart for a university that promotes sexism and falsehoods, and definitely too smart to turn down dad’s funding of her “higher” education.
    Looks like it’s UWO for her now.

  14. Kenny says:

    “I’m not in a position to comment on the research directly,”

    Well, you certainly felt in a position to comment on the other “research” supposedly, according to yourself, showing women to be superior in competence and morality. But when your research is debunked you claim not to be able to comment on that which debunks it. Classy. EVERYONE who reads this sees this as the cowardly backpedling it is. I hope this story becomes a nationwide media scandal dropping the number of students aplying for your school. I certainly will mention this to every person I ever talk to that considers aplying to your school.

  15. Anderson Davies says:

    I would ask you to remove this sexist drivel but it should be online in perpetuity to set as an example of abject stupidity for all to see. Your pandering is white knighting at its worst. What were you thinking?

  16. Varius says:

    I honestly thought that this was some kind of satire by “The Onion”.

    Anyway, why do I see the smirking face of Chris Bart at the top? Can’t he be replaced by a much more competent woman?

  17. Prolly Hanow says:

    This is just embarrassing for this school. Boyz is stoopid. I also suspect that any women who are actually encouraged by this sort of thing are not the type of women you want around.

    As a side note, though, I did both an MBA and went to law school. An MBA is just a joke. It’s not tough at all, and you can probably learn most everything (maybe aside from the accounting – but we only had to take 2 classes in it) on your own. Go to law school instead. You’ll actually learn something.

  18. Kevin Wayne says:

    Your institution also includes the McMaster Divinity School, which boasts of world renowned author Clark Pinnock. I’ve read several of his works and enjoyed a couple of them. So my blunt advice to you is this: If you are going to train people to go into Christian Ministry, why don’t you act like it and stop posting such demeaning and sexist garbage?

    “There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Gal 3:28

    How are you conveying that truth, when you post stuff that makes it sound like it’s all about women?

  19. Anthony Zarat says:

    Currently, women are 52% more likely to attend college than men. This type of hateful sexism will only make the problem worse.

    The “research” presented is a collection of informal surveys and personal ramblings with zero scientific rigor. What kind of student is likely to be attracted to this kind of sexism anyway? Supremacist ideologues who respond to this kind of advertising would only be suitable for a gender studies curriculum.

  20. Matthias says:

    Sexist propaganda. An outrage that this article was allowed to be produced in its state.
    Turn this article around as far as the genders go and I’m sure someone would realize the sexist nature and it’d be down in less than 2 days.

  21. Amy Anderson says:

    Pure nonsense. There is no justification at all for claiming that “women are better decision makers” based on this research or any other research that has been done on this subject.

    As should be obvious to any rational person (apparently not the writer of this article), a survey of 600 board directors in which a small percentage are women is not representative of women in general, and I would suspect that since female board members are in a minority anyway, they are simply elite samples where the women are exceptional and super-qualified. If you actually think about this for a second you can see why this would make sense, and other researchers have written on the problems of sampling bias comparing the genders in this way. You cannot just compare a small percentage of the most competent of women, who actually make it to the board room, to more mediocre men in the same positions.

    From the data actually presented, though, the most you can say is that group decision-making is better when women are involved (because diversity), NOT that women are actually making better decisions. There have been dozens of recent academic studies by psychologists (not corporate researchers) that have demonstrated that males and females do not differ much in moral reasoning and several other studies have shown negligible differences in decision making. For example, see Andersen, J. A. & Hansson, P. H. (2011). “At the end of the road? On differences between women and men in leadership behavior.” Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 32 (5), 428-441, which found no significant differences between male and female Swedish managers in decision-making style.

    I’m really peeved that this information was presenting in this demeaning, sexist fashion. As others pointed out if the sexes had been reversed this would not have appeared on this site, or at least would not have a title like the one it has now. It is downright irresponsible and highly hostile to half the population. As a woman, I am not amused and am deeply offended. I sincerely hope you will realize the mistake you have made.

  22. Jason says:

    Have a study showing that women are better than men at something?

    “Study Shows That Men Suck. Female Superiority Confirmed”.

    Have a study showing that men are better than women at something?

    “Surely this gross inequality and travesty of justice is a result of deeply intrenched patriarchy and structurally embedded misogyny”.

  23. TOm says:

    I am going to spread this all across the internet in order to make sure your number of applicants is reduced and your reputation tarnished as much as possible. Since the “science” you base your claims on have been shown to not even be peer review and not say what you say it says and to be refuted by lots of other studies it will make you look really stupid and unprofessional to have made these claims. That damages you not just by showing your misandry but your lack of academic standards. You have seriously underestimated the power men have to fight back against this type of stuff. Avoiceformen that has written about this has a huge readership and the readership of avocieformen run blogs all over the world with large readerships. I just saw a post go up on a swedish blog with thousands of readers and not doubt it will now show up on mens rights blogs all over the world and so coming to the attention of a huge amount of people. Those people WILL make sure to spread this wider as they are highly involved in mens rights advocacy and so feel strongly about it. A google search on your university, especially one involving your school and the word women or men, is likely to land people at one of those blogs. As you have so clearly exposed your misandry I am sure MRAs will now be monitoring your school closely looking for wether you give unfair advantages to women or spread misandry in other ways.

  24. TOm says:

    This is the swedish blog that published about this. It has a wide readership. It just got up and it is late at night there so there won`t be much commentary until tomorrow.

    I`m going to send this to several newspapers.

  25. Lovekraft says:

    Hey guys, lets not be so hard on the supplicating betas. This is their only way of receiving any measure of female appreciation. They certainly are unable to stand on their own without the approval of da wimminz, so what else would you expect?

  26. KarlMarx says:

    “Women’s abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders, researchers have found.”

    I laughed hard but then I cried because I realized what degenerates are within the scientific community of today.

    REAL research(not your pseudo-scientific one) points to men generally being better leaders because they are less emotional. Also, men are much better in competitive settings which allows them to make better(and more fair) decisions than women. Men are generally better leaders(especially within corporations and other top positions), though I don’t mind women having these jobs as long as their qualified. Women seem to be better at more “social” type jobs(teaching, nursing etc.).

    Stop with the fake “research” and pseudo-science.

  27. truthjusticeca says:

    This article exemplifies the low standards of academe at McMaster in exaggerating conclusions from cherry picked studies.

    The statement of fair decision making relating to better performance for companies is completely unsupported as causation. This is merely a predetermined (biased) conclusion of the author who then seeks data to support her world view.

    There is also little evidence to suggest that this is related to sex, as the few women at the level of director are the very best and not representative of all women. This is known as selection bias.

    Even if statistical averages were to show a difference, it is sexist and discriminatory to apply such bias to individuals, since individual variations far exceed statistical averages.

    If such a report or opinion piece were ever written with the sexes reversed or in regards to race, there would be massive public backlash and for good reason.

    The author and McMaster should be ashamed of themselves for such overt sexism.

  28. Jason Quarry says:

    Is this the state of higher education today, that they resort to attracting (more) young women with insipid and divisive gender-bias tropes? And I have to wonder how effective any women who is attracted by “gurls rule” and “boys are dumb throw rocks at them” could be at any kind of leadership. Even the anti-bot “captcha” in the comments section shows better business sense than this article.

    But I feel sorry for Mr Lenover, I really do. I suspect a voice in the back of his mind told him this article was awry to begin with; but like most men working in academia he is obliged to tow the “politically correct” line if he doesn’t want to join the ranks of the unemployed.

  29. Woodrow S Charles Willow says:

    Jared Lendover: “I think the main point is that, on average, women tend to make decisions differently than men. This different way of reasoning can be beneficial in the boardroom, and it’s sometimes lacking on boards which are only made up of men.”

    It sounds so moderate and inclusive all of a sudden!

    But here’s what it actually says, followed by the points and impressions it actually and obviously intends to make:

    “Women’s abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders, researchers have found.” [In other words: Women are fair - men are bullies- and thus better leaders...followed by the eternally nebulous "researchers have found".]

    “A survey of more than 600 board directors showed that women are more likely to consider the rights of others and to take a cooperative approach to decision-making. This approach translates into better performance for their companies.” [Women are cooperative and consider the rights of others, ergo, they are performance-superior - to men, who are cutthroat, demagogic - and thus inferior performers.]

    The study, which was published this week in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, was conducted by Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, and Gregory McQueen, a McMaster graduate and senior executive associate dean at A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.

    ‘“We’ve known for some time that companies that have more women on their boards have better results,” explains Bart. “Our findings show that having women on the board is no longer just the right thing but also the smart thing to do. Companies with few female directors may actually be shortchanging their investors.”’ [An outright lie, masquerading as empirical knowledge. Followed by the risible claim for affirmative action for women seeking careers as board directors, in the name of not only "rightness" (as "everyone has always known"), but practicality, since women are better all around for the company.]

    “Bart and McQueen found that male directors, who made up 75% of the survey sample, prefer to make decisions using rules, regulations and traditional ways of doing business or getting along.
    Female directors, in contrast, are less constrained by these parameters and are more prepared to rock the boat than their male counterparts.” [Men are craven, obedient, inflexible, unimaginative. Women are intrepid reformer-rebels who would open a whole new business world of nicey-nice, except that bully-coward men are in the way at present.]

    “In addition, women corporate directors are significantly more inclined to make decisions by taking the interests of multiple stakeholders into account in order to arrive at a fair and moral decision. They will also tend to use cooperation, collaboration and consensus-building more often – and more effectively – in order to make sound decisions.” [Women are democratic, inclusive, fair, cooperative, and more...and thus more effective...than men, who are as exclusive as possible with their shareholders - again - bully-cowards, totalitarian, unjust and Immoral...even tho it costs them so, so much in every way.]

    ‘”Women seem to be predisposed to be more inquisitive and to see more possible solutions. At the board level where directors are compelled to act in the best interest of the corporation while taking the viewpoints of multiple stakeholders into account, this quality makes them more effective corporate directors, explains McQueen.’ [Women - again - are more creative, imaginative, far more conscious of the actual best interest of the company, democratic toward the actual stakeholders...than men, who - again (we can't stress it enough times!) - are non-inquisitive, complacent, UNimaginative, and dull in all-around consciousness. Men will act AGAINST the growth of the company, to SPITE its stakeholders, because...well, they're just evil and stupid, as we've proved.]

    “Globally, women make up approximately 9% of corporate board memberships. Arguments for gender equality, quotas and legislation have done little to increase female representation in the boardroom, despite evidence showing that their presence has been linked to better organizational performance, higher rates of return, more effective risk management and even lower rates of bankruptcy. Bart’s and McQueen’s finding that women’s higher quality decision-making ability makes them more effective than their male counterparts gives boards a method to deal with the multifaceted social issues and concerns currently confronting corporations.” [Despite the self-defeating, stupid and immoral context of it all, women are (STILL!) opressed and suppressed hugely...in the corporate world, as elsewhere...by men, who (STILL!) Don't Get It, and who would rather EVERYBODY LOSE than even consider an approach different from their ruinously hierarchical, wontonly cruel, and gratuitously mean same-old, same-old system that is suicidal for the demands of business today and in the future.]

    “The International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics is available online.” [We are Ethical, and we approve this message.]

    “How do people make decisions?”

    “Personal interest [i.e. Men's childish] reasoning: The decision maker is motivated by ego, selfishness and the desire to avoid trouble. This method is most often exhibited by young children who largely tend to be motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain.”

    “[Men's cowardly and unimaginative] Normative reasoning: The decision maker tries to avoid “rocking the boat” by adhering to rules, laws or norms. Stereotypical examples of groups that use this form of reasoning include organizations with strong established cultures like Mary Kay or the US Marines.

    “[Women's] Complex moral reasoning: The decision maker acknowledges and considers the rights of others in the pursuit of fairness by using a social cooperation and consensus building approach that is consistently applied in a non-arbitrary fashion.”

    [Following is some additional information on how women are spitefully and gratuitously victimized in every conceivable way - and also some Feminist advocacy opportunities, should the reader by a fair-minded, moral human being, and be interested in it:]

    “Why should boards have more female directors?
    Boards with high female representation experience a 53% higher return on equity, a 66% higher return on invested capital and a 42% higher return on sales (Joy et al., 2007).
    Having just one female director on the board cuts the risk of bankruptcy by 20% (Wilson, 2009).
    When women directors are appointed, boards adopt new governance practices earlier, such as director training, board evaluations, director succession planning structures (Singh and Vinnicombe, 2002)
    Women make other board members more civilized and sensitive to other perspectives (Fondas and Sassalos, 2000) and reduce ‘game playing’ (Singh, 2008)
    Female directors are more likely to ask questions rather than nodding through decisions (Konrad et al., 2008).”
    Call To Action
    Television Editors – Live interviews with Chris Bart can be arranged using the
    DeGroote School of Business’s broadcast studio. Call Julia Thomson 905-525-9140
    ext. 24871 to schedule airtime and book a live feed from campus.

    • Amy Anderson says:

      Well, yeah, this is exactly what upsets me about this article and the “research” conducted by Bart and McQueen.

      What Jared said is absolutely correct, and is exactly what the actual data gathered indicate. But the data does NOT lead to any of these wild conclusions made by this article or the McMaster researchers, in fact a lot of recent research directly contradicts these assertions. Especially the ridiculous assertion that one sex is “predisposed” to making good decisions simply because of their sex. What a totally asinine conclusion by these researchers, there is absolutely no support for that at all.

  30. Not buying It says:

    “Women make better decisions then men” hmm, I don’t know about all men but in the case of the men at McMaster University, who thought their is nothing wrong with that statement ,!!!! Yah, heck a monkey suffering from lack of banana’s would had made a better decision.

  31. Harold McInnis says:

    Well this information is useful in the sense that an mb acquired at McMasters De Groote
    is useless and one should not allow any member of one’s family to attend; nor should one hire anyone with any association to this institute.

  32. David says:

    I’d say there are plenty of men who can make decisions as good or mature as most women they just not detected by this study because they haven’t bullied and manipulated their way to the top

  33. VinoVeritas says:

    So how do you McMasters people feel about Blacks, Asians and Jews? How good are each of those identity groups at decision making? Come on, out with it.

    Overall, though, I’ll bet that the grinning Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at DeGroote, found exactly what he wanted to find in his little article. His whole focus is telling: He seems to primarily think of people in terms of their respective groups.

  34. VinoVeritas says:

    And this kind of article is not original or creative or indicative of a smart person. It’s not a good advertisement for your college or for Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at DeGroote.

    Everyone today already “knows” that women are either superior to men or they are the victims of patriarchal oppression. I mean, can we just stipulate to that and then find new tasks for Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at DeGroote, that may actually be of value to the world?

  35. TheWestIsLost says:

    @Julia Thompson
    “Given the article that has already been posted on AVfM and the general tone of this discussion, we’re not interested in an interview. Thank you for the offer.
    Julia Thomson
    Manager, Marketing & Communications”

    What is wrong with the article about this on A Voice For Men? Other than completely demolishing the claims made in your “academic” with facts and reality, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Scathingingly written perhaps, but not abusive.
    What is wrong with the tone of the comments here? As with the AVFM article, bluntly realistic but not abusive.
    Like many feminist ideologues, you put up a strawman argument that the “tone” of the questions is wrong so you don’t have to engage with realists.
    Sounds a lot like a Julia we have here in Australia – if you don’t agree with her you’re either a male misogynist or a female deluded by the “patriarchy” and hence also misogynist.
    Trouble with the so-called 3rd wave Feminist machine is they actually believed the garbage they were told in Women’s Studies classes by the loopy 2nd wavers. They actually believe that female is superior to male.

  36. SallieMae says:

    While your approach of alienating good chunks of the population with biased, cherry-picked “research” will undoubtedly be marketing gold, and while I realize I probably don’t have the right stuff to hold a McMasters MBA, here is my marketing suggestion:

    Would you like fries with your Master’s from McMasters?

  37. michael steane says:

    This is garbage. When quotas were imposed in Denmark, the share values of those companies that were affected fell precipitously.

    Women are just as cut-throat as men, but some men are too stupid to see when they are being taken in by female wiles.

  38. OwnIt says:

    Julia Thomson writes:
    “Given the article that has already been posted on AVfM and the general tone of this discussion, we’re not interested in an interview. Thank you for the offer.”

    ——–

    You wrote the article. I would want to think that you stand behind it and are able to defend it. Instead, you play the miffed victim with a stiffly formal reply when you are actually called on your statements.

  39. Robby T Robot says:

    It is rather ironic that the comment posting section says “Please show us you’re not a robot”, in view of the fact this article was penned and approved by the Fembot Collective.

    I look forward to being served coffee by the talented baristas your female business prodigies will become.

    Good day.

  40. jj says:

    Honestly, this only gets worse. The people commenting here are not trying to censor you, they have provided an opportunity for you to get an interview.

    If you think that posting something like this is ok, that is not ok. If a school or website had proposed something stating that women had less brains then the household dog; there would be understandable uproar. It would be even worse, if it stated that that is why they are going to favor men over women based on gender because more men go and pass through college anyways. This is the reverse of what you have done.

    It would be one thing if they were just trying to silence you, but you can’t fault them for wanting an interview. When you allow your institution to do stuff like this, it is a right for others throughout the world to hear your side of the story. I find it telling that you don’t feel you have to. If another institution had made a similar stand in the reverse, or some other such bigotry, you would join the chorus demanding those responsible explain themselves.

    The fact that you don’t feel you have to is a common indictment of most feminist establishment directives today. Women are beyond reproach, no matter how reprehensible their action, or shameful the pandering to them is. It is ok. Men are disposable, so who cares right?

    You desire to have women go to your school of business. Yet the type of woman who will respond to this sort of advertising is not the kind of woman you want to promote in most cases. She will make the environment hostile for all involved, she will accuse professors of some nonsense when she fails to meet the grade required, and it is very possible that after a soon to be former lover gets into a quarrel with your new recruit; she will incite the sort of procedures in Obama’s Czar’s “Dear Colleague” letter. You will be facing a lawsuit, or several.

    All that it would take to avoid all of this would be to change the sentence to promote more women; but stop belittling men’s image. The fact that you have not even addressed this, either of your marketing or PR directors who have responded to these comments, is very telling.

  41. Trinalee says:

    Is this what you teach at your college? Is this the kind of marketing that you encourage? Then I guess I shan’t be matriculating at your place of learning.

    As an aside, you should maybe get the nitrous oxide feed lines at the neighboring dental college checked, or the amount of nutmeg being put into the cafeteria lasagna, because Chris Bart, professor of strategic management at DeGroote, looks way too ecstatically happy in that picture above.

  42. Stupid Male Dumbdumb says:

    “Given the article that has already been posted on AVfM and the general tone of this discussion, we’re not interested in an interview. Thank you for the offer. Julia Thomson Manager, Marketing & Communications”

    So Julia Thomson is a sexist AND a coward. Duly noted.

    Also duly noted, any resume that appears on my desk with any relation to McMaster is heading to the trash can right away. Im sure some of your graduates are competent, but really, in today’s job market and the abundance of university grads, we will not miss them.

    Other than that I just want to add my voice to those who condemn this shameful and blatant sexism and bigotry. What the hell were you thinking? Were you trying to endear yourself to feminazis? Were you trying to appeal to women? (If so you’ve managed to pull a double-whammy, by writing hateful BS about men while suggesting that women are idiotic, as anybody who would be swayed by this nonsense clearly is).

    This confirms for the nth time that feminism is a truly hateful ideology, and i will oppose it and oppose though who promote it with every atom in my body until my dying breath.

  43. Stupid Male Dumbdumb says:

    I would add that this kind of hateful nonsense doesnt hurt its actual target, namely wealthy, powerful men, i.e., the patriarchy. This stuff hurts the most vulnerable men, which were never part of any old boys club or patriarchy or whatever nonsense that exists in the fevered imagination of hateful feminists.

    SHAME on McMaster University.

  44. Allan says:

    An appalling, sexist, inaccurate, sycophantic, cherry-picking and ill-conceived article, but kudos for allowing the comments to stand for more than 30 seconds. Perhaps you haven’t seen them yet.

    The mega-minds at DeGroote will at least learn that this kind of utter rubbish is no longer acceptable, and will be vehemently called out and dissected by members of half the population who are getting rather sick of being told how inferior they are. You have been warned.

  45. Farina says:

    People actually PAY to hear this kind of stuff – and have it backed up by such shoddy evidence – at this college? I’ve run across the Chris Bart types before – a White Knight.

    I also think that Julia Thomson was probably taken by surprise by the comments – men aren’t SUPPOSED TO look into anti-man statements. Men aren’t SUPPOSED TO get annoyed with this constant stream of unfounded crap. Everyone knows that.

  46. Another stupid worthless man says:

    Judging by the responses here, not to mention the changing attitudes of so many men that I know and meet, the hateful ideology known as feminism is nearing the end of its run as the nation’s dominant social paradigm.

  47. Anderson Davies says:

    Yes “Another stupid worthless man”:

    The responses are just the beginning. Go to most comment threads on gender issues in the MSM and even on unknown universities web pages and you will get biased feminists taken to task. They are been watched.
    Ms Thomson by refusing an interview shows exactly what feminism is all about and that it cannot stand up to inspection.

  48. Jason says:

    @ Julia
    You said, “Given the article that has already been posted on AVfM and the general tone of this discussion, we’re not interested in an interview. Thank you for the offer.”

    Pardon?
    And, are you supposed to be an example of “how women make better decisions than men”?
    By running with your tail tucked between your legs like a scolded puppy?
    I have to wonder how that crisis management technique would play out in the boardroom of any Fortune 500 company.

    Either woman up and do the interview or admit your error.

  49. criticalthinker says:

    Although the content of this article is sexist and one sided, I think it gives rise to a greater concern. Is the course content also one sided and sexist? Is the material your students are required to learn not peer reviewed? Are you telling your students that one sex has a better chance of becoming an executive then the other based on if they have a Y chromosome or not? When a university pulishes this sort of thing for public viewing I have to believe that they believe it. This lends itself to make people believe that the course curriculum will mirror this sexist belief. I’m sincerely concerned about it.

  50. Patrick says:

    As a Hamiltonian, I ask any school representative to please answer whether or not such an article would be posted if it were “Men make better decisions than women”.

    I would find such an article equally offensive, as it puts down a whole gender as being less capable. How can you not see this, and how it is wrong in both senses of the word,

    I think why this bothers me so much is that this wasn’t posted on some random website, or even in The Hamilton Spectator, but rather on the website of a University I considered highly respectable.

    It has been shown that the sources of information used are not at the level of credibility one should expect. You may not feel this way, however I believe you owe our community an apology. It is insulting the a school representative hides behind the fact that they didn’t title the article. Do you not have final approval of the title and content of what is posted on your school’s website? May I ask who did title it?

    Thank you in advance for your response.

  51. Mike Buchanan says:

    Earlier in the comment stream was a link to our briefing paper with Abstracts of five longitudinal studies showing that increasing female representation on boards leads to declines in corporate financial performance. I invite Professor Bart (or any of his colleagues, or students) to point me towards even one longitudinal study showing an improvement in corporate financial improvement. Nobody else in the world has met this challenge over the past 12 months – including government ministers, dozens of organisations including major employers’ organisations, directors of FTSE100 companies, and hundreds of individuals campaigning for more women on corporate boards. This is a left-wing anti-meritocratic assault on the businesss sector, which threatens to remove one of the cornerstones of capitalism, the freedom of companies to appoint directors as they see fit.The business community should be ashamed of itself, for surrendering to this social engineering initiative.

    Mike Buchanan

    CAMPAIGN FOR MERIT IN BUSINESS
    http://c4mb.wordpress.com

  52. Joseph says:

    I’m going to replace the word woman with the word man and the word man with the word woman in this articles. If this article is then becomes sexist, then the original one is too.

  53. Xtrnl says:

    So, a 3 digit sample is supposed to have the same characteristics as a group of millions and millions of people? Confirmation bias much?

    Remember, everyone. Feminism tells us that women “can do anything a man can do, only better”. That is why if you ever write an article saying men are better at something than women (even if it is a task that would obviously be true [i.e. hooking up electronics]), it’s horrendous sexism. But when you write the same with the genders reversed, it’s empowering. Gotta love the double standards this society propagates.

  54. Stan says:

    How smart would you have to be to run up tens of thousands of dollars in student debt and end up with a degree that qualifies you to pour coffee at Starbucks?
    Is that a good decision?
    Smart people take STEM classes or go into the trades.

  55. Jodi Arias says:

    Frankly, there are areas of academia where people expect the professors to uphold standards of scholarship – like physics, medicine, molecular biology and the like – and there are other areas of academia where most people in the know just assume that most of it is ideological bullsh!t. Women’s studies is a good example of the latter, but I also think that “management” also fits in there. Stupid people are going to be awed at the title “professor”, but people who have more than 4 brain cells are going to know what Chris Bart is all about. Kind of pathetic, and kind of embarrassing.

  56. Redneck Joe says:

    Women’s suffrage was the primary cause of the insurmountable debt of the U.S.
    Feminism is responsible for the economic and cultural decline of Western civilization over the last 50 years.
    Every great civilization in history had cultural boundaries to keep the rampant poor decision making process of the woman in check.
    Stand by for the collapse.

  57. Craig Graham says:

    Thank you for the article. My SON is looking for an MBA program starting fall 2014. This article narrows the list of potential programs by one.

    MBA Carnegie Mellon GSIA 1997

  58. Paul M says:

    “Personal interest reasoning, Normative reasoning, Complex moral reasoning”

    Hmmn. No mention of efficacy, no mention of reasoning according to what is actually going to work.

  59. Davers6 says:

    Whew! As a grey-haired retired male business (marketing) executive, I am soooooo relieved to learn that the past 30+ years of similar feminist propaganda has (at last) spawned a major, FACT-BASED backlash from males (and even some females) who will no longer be cowed by feminist orthodoxy.

    Good work, guys! We’ve got a LOT of cleaning up to do following 3 decades of similarly ridiculous faux-”research” from the sorts of people employed at McMaster U in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This ONE episode will set DeGroote back for several years … GOOD!

    • Adam Prokop says:

      Hey everyone,
      A few comments to add to this discussion:
      First of all, for everyone trashing McMaster because of this article, are you not basing your judgement on just a relatively small sample; one article? One person does not speak for a whole community. Former Harvard president Lawrence Summers was forced to resign in part because he suggested that a low representation of women in the sciences was due to a lack of innate ability in women. One person’s remark does not change my opinion that Harvard is a world-class university. In this instance, it is a marketing officer and professor making these statements, not a president, so there is even less weight behind this article. Anyone making generalizations from this admittedly poorly written article about the quality of the school and the students may be lacking in logic and reasoning.

      Secondly, those who are trashing MBAs at DeGroote (I am looking at you Stan), clearly don’t understand the importance of the degree. Yes, it is expensive (total fees for two years is just around $38,000) but so far I, along with most other students, have gotten scholarships and bursaries. Coupled with 3 co-op work terms (which one work term has made me $13,000 after-tax in the bank), the degree is actually quite affordable (at least compared to more brand-name schools like Ivey and Rotman that basically offer the same MBA program). Finally, since starting at the school many students have gotten job opportunities that they never could have gotten without the extensive network McMaster has set-up. I am not saying that McMaster is the greatest school in the world, but it certainly not a facility that manufactures morons. I may be a moron, but that does not mean that everyone who goes or works to McMaster is one! Keep your comments relevant to the argument; this article.

      Now, back to the article. If only the author had chosen some words carefully. If “women make better decision than men” was changed to “women may make decision better than men”, then this type of language would not be considered sexist by academic standards. What cracks me up the most about this article is how it blatantly states causality from a topic that is in its infancy in research and realistically can never be definitive. I would have no problem with any discussion about how women COULD be better than men at anything, but by stating that women are better as a fact while not having any quality supportive empirical evidence, this article transcends into the absurd.

      I have enjoyed the controversy and debate in the heated discussion posts. I just hope that commenters can remain civil and decent and not revert to name-calling or sweeping generalizations (all too common on the internet) despite the fact that one could say the actual article subtly does the same thing (calling men inferior and making generalizations about the sexes). It is the person who does not “sink” to his opponent’s level that ultimately wins the battle. Finally, I those who are calling out Julie Thompson as a coward, why don’t you use you REAL and full name?

      Adam Prokop – MBA Candidate 2014 and proud of it!

      • BeenThere says:

        Adam,

        I got an MBA in 1986 (from what I call a “real school”) with a degree in electrical engineering before it and a law degree after it.

        You aren’t a special snowflake. I cringe when I think back at my world view at that point.

        You probably don’t realize the extent of your indoctrination yet. Maybe you will at age 52, maybe you never will. Maybe you can start comparing the real world with what you have been taught when you finally have to take some heavy responsibility out in the real world. Take some time to find out what is really going on before you spout off.

        • Adam says:

          Hey BeenThere,

          When did I ever say that I was a “special snowflake”? Clearly someone who got there MBA, law degree and engineering degree thinks they are special (and probably from a privileged background no doubt in their ability to afford three degrees which most students today cannot without getting into ridiculous life-long debt). And your comment “from a real school”, stinks with an err of superiority complex. Did you even read my post or just saw that I was getting an MBA at McMaster and then spouted off garbage?

          My post criticized the quality of the article while defending the quality of the school. McMaster is a pretty good school overall in many different fields including business, medicine, and engineering. Nowhere did I state that I think I am special, just that the degree is quite affordable and that it has a co-op option that can get mine and other’s feet in the door at huge companies. That’s the divide in today’s time; the baby boomer generation who thinks they earned everything (no doubt many did but they were also very lucky to be born in an opportune low-competitive time) against the “entitlement” generation who think they deserve everything. But guess what, not all Millennials are the same and think that because they have an MBA, they are entitled to a job or to be CEO in five years. I certainly don’t and many of my friends are the same way. I certainly am grateful to the companies who have hired me, and I actually do have an understanding of the “real world” (been working since 16). Do you, or are you still living in 1986?

          Mr. BeenThere, you are a coward for posting anonymously, clearly ignorant in your views, and clearly have an inability to read someone else’s opinion without projecting your own beliefs on to it. You know my name; contact me if you want to have a proper discussion and not a troll conversation anonymously on the internet.

      • LoneWolf says:

        @Adam Prokop

        Thanks for the cursory rules of engagement, according to your ego-centric world view, that you have kindly offered concerning how the general public should respond to articles that are blatantly sexist, bigoted and dripping with anti-male bias… but… uh… as you can see, men aren’t taking the bullsh!t anymore. You can try to title the article with any sterile bandage you’d like, but men who have put up with this incessant pro-woman nonsense ad nauseum can still see the blood seeping through it.

        And… sorry friend, but any article posted on a university, company, organization, or government web site is a direct reflection of what that organization stands for — else the organization would not have allowed that material to stand in the first place.

        Its hilarious to miss the blatant sexism in this article… even more amusing to act as though it doesn’t exist… but even more comical for people, such as yourself, to try persuade other on what their individual responses and reactions should be. Believe me…. we’re all laughing at you.

  60. Arhennius says:

    This is ridiculous. It’s like a model giving portfolio examples showing missing teeth, an asymmetrical face and a dueling scar.

    This is a friggin’ business school (which includes marketing) that is shooting itself in the foot. And they don’t even know it themselves. I’ll bet Chris Bart just kind of affably ambles around the place, picking up his taxpayer-supported paycheck once in a while, smug and smirking in the knowledge of his superiority for these kinds of offerings.

    Unbelievable.

  61. Arhennius says:

    And your title is not optimal, how about:

    “Girls are way better than stinky boys … throw rocks at them”.

  62. obmon says:

    Thank you! I’ve been feeling rather down lately.. This article had me on the floor, side-splitting, with laughter. Thanks for the excellent morning, and have a good day.

  63. Hiram J Goldstein II (@HiramJGoldstein) says:

    Thus reminding us that feminism isn’t about equality; it’s about women’s superiority. “Women are equal, except when they’re better.”

  64. Kevin Robson says:

    As someone from the same generation as Davers6 I want to add my voice in support. As young men we fully supported the right of women to have equal opportunity because we were honourable, but this whole thing has gone far too far: it is the shriek of blind bigotry and it has to stop. I have long felt that a backlash was coming and I take this as being the start. Men have maintained a relatively dignified silence for some years now, largely out of their honest respect for women but the gloves now need to come off. The reaction to this deceitful and damaging article is a credit to men (and notice, no significant presence women’s comment here) who now need to stand up and be counted (and wake up ‘Manginas’, your position is increasingly untenable).

  65. Dave Heick says:

    I used to joke with my peers that Business School was for those who couldn’t do the math.

    Seems that needs to be appended.
    .

  66. Funny says:

    So you write this… get trashed into the ground… and then run away from the criticism? Are you sitting in your safe place with all of the other enlightened people getting back rubs hoping that the mean mean people who tell the truth go away?

  67. Amy Anderson says:

    Okay, so for the benefit of anyone reading I surveyed some of the most recent literature on this topic and I don’t see how the authors of the above “study” could have ignored the wealth of data that completely contradicts their assertions. I will provide the references below for anyone interested.

    The claim that including more women on boards increases the performance of the organization is not a consistent finding, most studies showing mixed results. Even if it were robust, it says nothing about the quality of decision making of women vs. men, just that diversity might provide more options and thus more outcomes for boards. However, a recent meta-analysis of the effect of gender diversity on boards, with proper controlled methods, shows no overall positive relationships between diversity and objective performance measures. See:

    van Dijk, H., van Engen, M. L., & van Knippenberg, D. (2012). Defying conventional wisdom: A meta-analytical examination of the differences between demographic and job-related diversity relationships with performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119, 38-53. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2012.06.003]

    The older studies that show positive correlations do not correct for selection bias and omitted variables, etc. When these are controlled for, more recent studies do not find causal relationships between having more women and greater performance:

    Adams, R. B., & Ferreira, D. (2009). Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance. Journal of Financial Economics, 94, 291-309. doi:10.1016/j.jfineco.2008.10.007

    Antonakis, J., Bendahan, S., Jacquart, P., & Lalive, R. (2010). On making causal claims: A review and recommendations. The Leadership Quarterly, 21, 1086-1120. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.10.010

    O’Reilly, C. A., III, & Main, B. G. M. (2012). Women in the boardroom: Symbols or substance? Research Paper No. 2098, Stanford Graduate School of Business. http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/library/RP2098.pdf.

    Someone else here mentioned the example from Norway, where the government has instituted quotas to ensure at least 40% representation of women on boards. The effect of this mandated quota system has been extensively analyzed:

    Ahern, K., & Dittmar, A. (2012). The changing of the boards: The impact on firm valuation of mandated female board representation. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127, 137-197. doi:10.1093/qje/qjr049

    Matsa, D. A., & Miller, A. R. (2012). A female style in corporate leadership? Evidence from quotas. Northwestern University. https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/Faculty/Directory/Matsa_David_A.aspx#research

    The analyses actually found a negative correlation between corporate profits and the inclusion of more women, in total contradiction to claims made by Bart and McQueen. According to the results of the above studies, one could instead claim that it was the Norwegian government that shortchanged investors by mandating more women on boards!

    Considering all of this evidence that flat-out contests the claims in this article, as well as tons of quality psychological research demonstrating that decision-making ability of men and women is not that different, I have to wonder if the authors are being deliberately disingenuous with their “research,” or if they really are just that lazy. Either way, this does not bode well for quality of research engaged in at the DeGroote School of Business.

  68. Nick Dobbing says:

    This article makes various generalizations about what women are like, and what men are like. As others have pointed out, this is sexism, about as plain as it gets: working to reinforce gender-as-limiting-category. Whenever I see this kind of thing, I’m always inclined to think about the people who are excluded at the margins, and who therefore go unnoticed in the argument: men and women who violate the categories, who don’t fit. This would include women (for example) who make bad decisions, and men who make good ones.

    It’s not nearly enough to excuse the provocative title, and consider the matter closed. This is pretty much sexist all the way through.

    I hear two broad claims being made about characteristic differences between men and women in leadership roles, such that

    * women’s style of decision-making and leadership “tends” to follow certain patterns (more inclusive, et cetera); this tendency is sufficiently pronounced to reliably generate certain global benefits to the organization (improved overall quality of decision-making, better performance, better governance);

    * as a general rule, and guided by this awareness, organizations really ought to put more women on boards of directors, as a way of capturing the benefits of women’s (better/different) way of working.

    From my own experience of various decision-making/leadership/governance settings, I’ve found that things generally go better in various ways when men and women are reasonably well-balanced, numerically. Conversely, I’ve seen that certain problems arise when you have too many men, or too many women: you get the hen house, or you get the locker room. Men and women, it seems to me, have a civilizing effect on one another.

    However, I’ve also observed that qualities of good leadership and decision-making don’t align all that well along gender lines. One can find examples of good and bad leadership pretty much anywhere you look, in any demographic. An organization wanting to reinforce better practices in these areas might do well to inquire: who’s doing it right already? It wouldn’t do at all to start such an inquiry from such a blinkered viewpoint.

    I’ve been trying to find the journal article which describes Dr. Bart’s study, but I’m having a little trouble. I don’t know if I missed this in an earlier comment, but may we know the title of the article, and the specific issue in which it was published? TIA.

  69. Pamela Reed says:

    Oh good grief. The sources used in this article are old news. There is a note up there referencing Catalyst for goodness sake, and they and other feminst organizations have stopped using the argument about women on boards a long time ago because of lack of evidence.

    You mentioned the Catalyst paper, Joy et al, 2007 and Susan Vinnecombe’s 2002 article as evidence, but here’s what Prof. Vinnecombe has to say about them now (thanks to a link by poster Mike Buchanan):

    “…there has been quite a push in the past – indeed, we ourselves have engaged in such research – to look at the relationship between having women on corporate boards and financial performance. We do not subscribe to this research. We have shared it with chairmen and they do not think that it makes sense. We agree that it does not make sense. You cannot correlate two or three women on a massive corporate board with a return on investment, return on equity, turnover or profits.. We have dropped such research in the past five years and I am pleased to say that Catalyst, which claims to have done a ground-breaking study on this in the US, officially dropped this line of argument last September.”

    The other posters here have also put references to many recent meta-analytic studies which, in my view, falsify the wild and bizarre claims made here by the McMaster researchers. It’s time to get beyond gender and stop with all this divisive nonsense that’s not based in fact or reality, and realize that both sexes bring unique and valuable skills to leadership and the workplace. This article is unbelievable.

  70. Ali says:

    Having published 6 ISI papers on electrical engineering and mathematics, I consider your article shameful to the society of academics. Is this the sort of thinking and research you teach at that institute? It is like saying it is observed in areas with more diverse fauna that animals are more animate and then conclude that snails are faster than horses and put that as the title. I am used to and sick of seeing statistics being abused to make factoids out of nothing in the media but to see that in academia is an insult to all educational systems. It is a disgrace to your students and this kind of getting away with whatever one craves to say in disguise of some irrelevant references and statistics is not something helpful to 7-year-olds let alone adult students. Feel free to contact me for a lesson or two on mathematics and statistics and how (not) to interpret them.
    Regards?
    Ali

  71. Joey says:

    The article’s author clearly has a wife running his life. Same reason women now have equal rights – it’s men who gave it to them, because their female partners threatened to withhold sex and other favors. Same old story.

    If women are such good decision-makers, there’d be more than 5% of them running Fortune 500 companies. They’ll never decide to do anything until they consult everyone, and even after that they’ll debate it again. Men decide. Men make the world turn. If women drive the train, it’s men that lay the track. [****] this loser and Dr. Phil pop psychology. The evidence says the exact opposite.

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A study published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics finds that women’s abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders.

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