The reputational advantage of daughters for CEOs

October 18, 2015

The reputational advantage of daughters for CEOs

Maybe this is one way to save the world and build kinder reputations. A study found that when a company was led by a CEO with a daughter, it demonstrated better corporate citizenship ratings and spent more of its revenue on CSR than the median. The interview with the authors of the study – Henrik Cronqvist at the University of Miami and Frank Yu of China Europe International Business School – appeared in HBR. The research was done among CEOs in S&P 500 companies and they measured CSR activities using KLD Research and Analytics standards which are highly respected. Terribly interesting. Apparently, having daughters changes executive perspectives — the companies tend to be more diverse, have better employee relations and a better environmental record. They also had better human rights records and more socially responsible products/services — all ingredients to better reputations. As the authors say, “The literature in economics, psychology, and sociology suggests that women tend to care more about the well-being of other people and of society than men do, and that female children can increase those sympathies in their parents.” They did not see the same effects with CEOs with sons. Having daughters could make workplaces better after all. The executives, mostly men, probably experienced gender inequality first hand as their daughters grew older and became more attuned to societal issues.

The authors make an interesting statement when they hypothesize that a man “behaves one-third more ‘female’ when he parents a girl.” Something to mull over. Wonder how they arrived at the one-third figure but it is compelling.

 

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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