recent article in the New York Times by Therese Huston says yes!—women are better decision makers in stressful situations. Huston cites research by several neuroscientists that shows that in low-stress situations, women and men make decisions about risk in similar ways. When stress is introduced, however, women bring some unique strengths to the table that result in better decisions. Here are some examples of the positive impact women have had:
- Credit Suisse examined 2,400 global corporations from 2005 to 2011, which includes the years just before and after the financial crisis, and found that companies with at least one woman on their board outperformed comparable companies with all-male boards by 26 percent.
- Several studies show that investments run by female hedge-fund managers outperformed those run by male managers.
- Women are more attuned to the needs of others in stressful situations, while men become more egocentric.
- Women under stress take less risk. They look for smaller, surer successes that produce better long-term results, while men under stress take big risks when the chances of success are low.
- Women under stress tend to look for common ground. Remember the women of the United States Senate who were able to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans to end the government shutdown in 2013?