Like the Song Says, Women ARE Smarter!

A smart woman named Cindy emailed me this story from the International Herald Tribune by Thomas Fuller.

“Christopher Clarke, the president of a headhunting company cites studies showing that women are better at performing many things at once, or multitasking, and that they have more sophisticated emotional intelligence, like being able to recognize another person’s feelings more accurately than men.

“There’s a lot of evidence that says that women are superior in evaluating people, in managing their ego, in calming aggression in others,” Clarke said in an interview. “These are precisely the characteristics you need in a modern corporation.”

Clarke said companies seemed more interested in hiring top-level female executives, especially after the scandals at companies like Enron, Parmalat, Tyco and WorldCom. These companies might have avoided “aggressive types of behavior,” Clarke said, if they had had more women as directors.

The most recent data show a small increase in the percentage of women on corporate boards, to 8.2 percent today from 7.1 percent in 2003, based on a survey of 1,600 companies worldwide. The sharpest increases have been in Scandinavia.

Clarke says it is in companies’ interest to recruit more women into their boardrooms because more diversity means broader perspectives and “better decisions.”

“The days of the dominant 800-pound gorilla steel magnates who built huge monopolies by roughriding over everybody are gone,” he said. Traditional corporate executives are like dominant male apes who have to collude with allies to cast rivals out of the troop, he wrote.

“As we share 98 percent of our genes with the great apes,” Clarke wrote, “it is no surprise that in today’s boardrooms we can observe much similar behavior.”