Women CFO's a Boon?

I frequently joke that when it comes to the "personal excellence" aspect of leadership that what women need is to develop leadership presence and what men need to develop is ethics. Is this why Wall Street seems to prefer moves made by companies with women CFOs?

In an unpublished study from Boston College reports:
...the stock market reacts more favorably to both acquisition announcements and secondary equity offerings made by companies whose finance function is run by women...

Specifically, the stock-price reaction to acquisitions was approximately 2 percent better when women were running the finance department.

The authors also say women seemed to have an edge when it came to making secondary equity offerings. There, too, the market reaction was about 2 percent better for companies where a woman was in charge of finance...

when a large company (all of those in the studied samples had book assets greater than $500 million) gets a 2 percent better equity return on an acquisition or stock issuance, "we're talking about a substantial amount of dollars," Kisgen pointed out. "The evidence suggests that female CFOs on average do make decisions which are better for overall shareholder value,"...

On another note, how hard is it to get to the CFO seat? From the same article:

"Meanwhile, even if women are better at maximizing shareholder value, they have some challenges to overcome in getting to the CFO seat. In a June 2006 survey of 363 executives by CFO magazine, 83 percent of men said there was no glass ceiling for women in corporate finance — but only 44 percent of women agreed.

Also, 51 percent of men said that no positions would be harder for a woman to obtain, an assertion with which only 37 percent of women agreed. About 14 percent of survey respondents said CFO is the hardest corporate job for women to reach."

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women. She blogs on networking for PINK Magazine. Follow her on Twitter.
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