Monday, December 03, 2007

Study Debunks Myths About Women Leaders

A major research study released November 30th by Babson College and The Commonwealth Institute finds that woman-led businesses in Massachusetts are strong engines of economic growth, consistently outperforming national and state growth rates for each of the six years that the study was conducted. The Top Woman-Led Businesses in Massachusetts: 2006 Results study found that woman-led businesses are key drivers of Massachusetts’ revenue and employment as well as strong sources of philanthropic activity. The companies reporting revenues in the survey generated $10.2 billion, and together, all of the companies surveyed employed more than 24,000 people in Massachusetts.

Following are key trends that the study uncovered:

* Woman-run businesses continue to grow.

* Debunking the perception that women predominantly run lifestyle or retail businesses, the CEOs in the study lead companies in every sector of the Massachusetts economy.

* In contrast to the perception that women business leaders are risk averse, women CEOs in Massachusetts on average are proactive and more likely to make bold decisions to maximize potential opportunities.

* Women leaders in Massachusetts stand out from their national peers in their degree of education and professional experience.

* In contrast to cost-benefit approaches to management that rely on cost cutting, women CEOs drive profitability through customer relationships, enhanced products/services and higher margin products.

* Nearly 80 percent of the leaders are personally active in nonprofit, civic and philanthropic organizations.

My favorite quote is by Dr. I. Elaine Allen, Associate Professor of Statistics & Entrepreneurship at Babson College and co-author of the study:
“These businesses are among the highest performing in the state and we can learn a lot from the CEOs leading them. They are focused on building strong businesses for the long-term and have committed themselves and the resources of their organization to growth. They take an entrepreneurial approach to business and are not afraid of taking risks to take advantage of business opportunities.”
Read more and download complete listing of companies and executive summary of the 2006 findings here.

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