London, Aug 7 (ANI): Women board members may not be very good at making money, but they are really efficient when it comes to ousting male chief executives who are not up to the job, according to a study.
In the research, two academics have apparently found that while female board members behave more like independent directors, this does not necessarily translates into bigger profits.
Labour's deputy leader and Equality Minister Harriet Harman has said that the credit crisis could have been prevented had more women been present on bank boards
However, the research has received huge criticism from working directors and chairmen, who have said that it is impossible to stereotype male and female behaviour in the boardroom or link it to performance.
Daniel Ferreira, of the London School of Economics, and Renee Adams, of the University of Queensland, found that women had better attendance records at board meetings than men.
They also found that men increased their attendance when there were women on their boards.
Ferreira said that women were over-represented on audit, corporate governance and nominating committees, but not on the compensation committee, which meant that they had little say about the pay of the chief executive.
The research also found that companies with more women on the board were more likely to be tough on chief executives, speedily removing those with poor stock price performance.
"Women behave more like independent directors - they are less likely to move in the same social circles as the chief executive or play golf together and so they are are going to be tougher. Having women on the board makes the board tougher on monitoring chief executives, but that doesn't necessarily translate into better profitability and stock market performance," Times Online quoted Ferreira as saying.
However, too much interference and monitoring from directors might not be a greta thing because it could result in a loss of trust and a lack of information sharing, which threatens profitability.
Ferreira examined nearly 2,000 US firms between 1996 and 2003 for the research.
He concluded that female directors were good for the profitability of poorly governed companies but not for the majority that were well managed.
He also doubted whether more women could have prevented the banking crisis.
"We have shown that women are tougher on chief executives after performance has fallen, but it is difficult to say whether they would have prevented the fall. I am reluctant to say they could have prevented the banking crisis," he said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics. (ANI)