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Research on the Benefits of Diversity – Increased Representation of Customer Base

The UK Government has itself highlighted some of the benefits of greater diversity on company boards, with Vince Cable, Secretary of State for business stating that:

"Diverse boards are better boards: benefiting from fresh perspectives, talent, new ideas and broader experience which enables businesses to better reflect and respond to the needs of their customers. This is good for women, good for companies who need to be the best they can be in order to compete in today’s tough global market place, and ultimately good for the UK economy as a whole. It is essential that Executive Search Firms and Chairs continue to use the Code to increase this rate of change."

The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP

The Credit Suisse Report touches on how a gender-mixed board may have a better understanding of the consumer preferences of households, particularly in sectors where women make many of the spending decisions. This reflects a widely held view articulated in a McKinsey report: Unlocking the full potential of women at work (2012) which found that "CEOs articulate simple, compelling rationales, such as … having a workforce that better matches customer demographics." As with other areas, evidence-based research is limited, but there is an increasing body of thought that suggests that a better match by management of their executive group with their company’s customer base is a matter of common sense.

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