Tag Archives: Corinne Post

Male Peer Raters Discount Women’s Expertise in Science, Engineering

J Stuart Bunderson

J Stuart Bunderson

Problem-solving work groups and individual career development benefit from accurate recognition and deployment of expertise.

Nancy DiTomaso

Nancy DiTomaso

People who are perceived as experts by team members, regardless of their actual expertise, have a number of career advantages, found Washington University’s J. Stuart Bunderson:

  • Greater influence in group decision-making,
  • More opportunities to perform,
  • Great opportunity for team leadership roles.
D Randall Smith

D Randall Smith

In addition, peer evaluations of expertise frequently contribute to individual rewards, compensation, and advancement, noted Rutgers’ Nancy DiTomaso, D. Randall Smith and George F. Farris with Corinne Post of Pace University and New Jersey Institute of Technology ‘s Rene Cordero.

Melissa Thomas-Hunt

Melissa Thomas-Hunt

Teams benefit when they accurately identify and use group members’ expertise because they perform more effectively and produce higher quality work products, found Cornell’s Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt, Tonya Y. Ogden of Washington University, and Stanford’s Margaret A. Neale.

Aparna Joshi

Aparna Joshi

However, women in science and engineering do not have equal opportunities to fully use their expertise in work groups, and to receive commensurate rewards, reported Penn State’s Aparna Joshi.

George Farris

George Farris

She obtained peer ratings and longitudinal research productivity data for 500 scientists and engineers and found that women’s technical expertise was undervalued by male colleagues in peer ratings.

Rene Cordero

Rene Cordero

Male and female raters assigned different importance to education when evaluating team members’ expertise.
Women’s ratings were correlated with the target person’s education level, but males evaluators considered educational attainment less than male gender in assigning highest ratings for expertise.

As a result, women’s highest ratings went to those with the highest education level, whereas men’s top evaluations were assigned to other men, no matter their education level.

Margaret Neale

Margaret Neale

Women received significantly lower expertise evaluations than men, and men evaluated highly educated women more negatively than female raters who assessed their peers.

These findings suggest that male peers discount women’s educational achievements and are unlikely to effectively use women’s expertise, to the detriment of team work output as well as individual recognition.

-*How do you ensure that your expertise is recognized and applied in work groups?

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Women Board Members + Strong Shareholder Protections = Higher Financial Performance

Kris Byron

Kris Byron

The relationship between women on corporate Boards of Directors and company financial outcomes is mixed, according to Syracuse University’s Kris Byron and Corinne Post of Lehigh University.

Corinne Post

Corinne Post

To clarify conflicting data, they conducted a meta-analysis of 140 existing studies and found that this relationship held in countries with stronger shareholder protections.

Companies with women on Boards and subject to significant shareholder protections reported higher accounting returns or firm profitability.

Richard Gentry

Richard Gentry

Accounting returns evaluate a firm’s efficiency in using assets to generate earnings and represent short-term financial performance, noted University of Mississippi’s Richard Gentry and Wei Shen of Arizona State University.

Wei Shen

Wei Shen

Another financial performance measure in Byron and Post’s meta-analysis was market performance, defined by University of Chicago’s Richard H. Thaler, as marketplace behavior that reflects expectations of a firm’s long-term value.

Richard Thaler

Richard Thaler

Women on Boards of Directors provide “diversity of thought and experience” and may tolerate less financial risk.
As a result, female members typically made stronger efforts to monitor the firms and to ensure strategy execution, according to Byron and Post.

Kathleen Eisenhardt

Kathleen Eisenhardt

To interpret their findings, the team considered Agency Theory, drawn from work by Stanford’s Kathleen Eisenhardt, suggesting Boards of Directors are “information systems” used by key stakeholders to verify organizational behavior.

Amy Hillman

Amy Hillman

In addition, these systems are influenced by Directors’ individual cognitive frames, derived from their diverse values and experiences, argued Arizona State’s Amy Hillman and Thomas Dalziel of University of Cincinnati.

Donald Hambrick

Donald Hambrick

Likewise, diverse cognitive frames yield more favorable organizational outcomes only when teams “engage in mutual and collective interaction [and] share information, resources, and decisions,” according to Upper Echelons Theory (UET) developed by Penn State’s Donald Hambrick.
Specifically, women Board members tend to affect group decision-making and financial performance when other Board members are willing to consider their diverse perspectives and experiences.

Thomas Dalziel

Thomas Dalziel

Strong shareholder protections provide “an information-processing stimulus that motivates (Boards) to leverage the decision-making resources (i.e., knowledge, experience and values) that women bring,” asserted Byron and Post.
As a result, they attributed positive financial outcomes to companies with women on their Boards of Directors in countries with these protections.

Previous Blog posts have noted that women’s contribution to group decision-making is not always fully accessed without this type of mandated “information-processing stimulus.”

However, Byron and Post’s analysis illustrates that diverse perspectives provide little benefit if they are not solicited and fully considered.

-*When have you observed diverse perspectives associated with increased profitability and performance?

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