Interesse nach Fähigkeiten vs. Fähigkeiten durch Beschäftigung

Aus dem Link:

She and her colleagues tested more than 300 students in their spatial cognition, and also quizzed them about their background, including what science they studied in high school, what their SAT scores were, and whether they had played video games or with construction toys in their childhood.  They found, as expected, great variation in the spatial cognition test, and they also found that the male students, on average, scored better than the female students.

Construction toys make a difference

But when it came to video games and construction toys, they found something very interesting.  Students who had played with certain video games – adventure games with complex maps, certain sports games, and simulation games like Minecraft, as well as those who had played with construction toys like Lego, tended to be good at spatial cognition. Even more interesting they found that there was no difference in spatial cognition between males and females – if both had played with these games or toys.

While Dr. Gold points out that this is just a correlation, it does suggest that it might be gendered play – rather than innate ability – that could explain the sex differences in spatial cognition abilities. She says evidence supports the idea that these skills are trainable, as well. „I’m a parent of two girls, and I’m totally on board ever since we did this study, I’m always for playing Legos with my girls.“

Wie wohl das Ergebnis wäre, wenn Kinder mit guten räumlichen Denkvermögen lieber mit Spielzeug spielen würden, welches gutes räumliches Denkvermögen erfordert?

Dazu auch:


Wie wirken sich mehr Frauen in Aufsichtsräten und Führungspositionen aus?

Ein interessanter Artikel bespricht die Auswirkung von mehr „Gender Diversität“ auf den Erfolg von Gesellschaften:

Spoiler alert: Rigorous, peer-reviewed studies suggest that companies do not perform better when they have women on the board. Nor do they perform worse. Depending on which meta-analysis you read, board gender diversity either has a very weak relationship with board performance or no relationship at all.

Kein Unterschied. Das wird dann einmal die Frage aufwerfen: Warum dann eigentlich? Und die zweite Frage wird sein: Warum sollte man dann nicht für mehr Gleichheit sorgen, es schadet nicht und Frauen haben ihren verdienten Anteil an Machtpositionen.

Wealth of Data on Board Gender Diversity

There have been many rigorous, peer-reviewed studies of board gender diversity. Given global interest in the effects of board gender diversity and the availability of abundant data on board gender composition and firm performance, many researchers have investigated the topic. The research literature includes over 100 studies of firms in 35 countries and five continents (Post and Byron, 2015).

Consider two recent meta-analyses that have been conducted to summarize prior research on the topic. Post and Byron (2015) synthesized the findings from 140 studies of board gender diversity with a combined sample of more than 90,000 firms from more than 30 countries.

Pletzer, Nikolova, Kedzior, and Voelpel (2015) took a different approach, conducting a meta-analysis of a smaller set of studies — 20 studies that were published in peer-reviewed academic journals and that tested the relationship between board gender diversity and firm financial performance (return on assets, return on equity, and Tobin’s Q).

The results of these two meta-analyses, summarizing numerous rigorous, original peer-reviewed studies, suggest that the relationship between board gender diversity and company performance is either non-exist (effectively zero) or very weakly positive.

Further, there is no evidence available to suggest that the addition, or presence, of women on the board actually causes a change in company performance.

In sum, the research results suggest that there is no business case for — or against — appointing women to corporate boards. Women should be appointed to boards for reasons of gender equality, but not because gender diversity on boards leads to improvements in company performance.

The two meta-analyses reached very similar conclusions, despite the differences in the underlying studies (140 studies vs. 20, etc.). Because meta-analyses provide a statistical summary — a sophisticated averaging — of the results of prior studies, their findings are much more credible than the findings of any single study. The fact that two quite distinctive meta-analyses reached nearly identical conclusions carries a lot of weight.

Post and Byron (2015) found that firms with more female directors tend to have slightly higher “accounting returns,” such as return on assets and return on equity, than firms with fewer female directors. The relationship was statistically significant — suggesting it wasn’t a chance effect — but it was tiny. (Statistical significance depends in part on sample size. So, a tiny effect is statistically significant if the sample is big enough.)

The average correlation between board gender diversity and firm accounting performance, Post and Byron found, was .047. This suggests that gender diversity on the board explains about two-tenths of 1% of the variance in company performance. The average correlation between board gender diversity and firm market performance (such as stock performance, shareholder returns) was even smaller and was not statistically significant.

Pletzer and his colleagues (2015) found that the average correlation between the percentage of women on the board and firm performance was small (.01) and not statistically significant.

It’s worth noting that even if the meta-analyses revealed a stronger relationship between board gender diversity and firm performance, we couldn’t conclude that board gender diversity causes firm performance. To establish causal effects, you need to conduct a randomized control trial. But, that’s impossible here; we can’t randomly assign board members to companies.

Also minimale Effekte. Aber in der Tat auch schwer zu überprüfen: Welchen Effekt hat ein Aufsichtsrat überhaupt? Wie mischt er sich ein? Und welche Mühen wurden gemacht um passende Frauen zu finden bzw wie sehr haben sich weniger qualifizierte Frauen eingemischt? Gerade bei den „Goldröcken“, also dem Effekt, dass sehr wenige Frauen in sehr vielen Aufsichtsräten waren, dürfte eine Detailarbeit kaum möglich sein.

Dazu auch aus dem Artikel:

What’s going on here? Again, we can’t know for certain why board diversity doesn’t predict company performance, but it seems likely that some of the following factors explain the very weak and mostly non-significant effects:

  • The women named to corporate boards may not in fact differ very much in their values, experiences, and knowledge from the men who already serve on these boards. The argument that gender diversity on the board will improve company performance rests on the assumption that the addition of one or more women to an all-male board will increase the board’s “cognitive variety” because women — the argument goes — differ from men in their values, experiences, and knowledge.

While research indicates that in general male and female adults differ somewhat in their values, experiences, and knowledge (and the differences are not huge), it’s not clear that male and female board members differ all that much in their values, experiences, and knowledge. After all, both male and female board members are likely to be selected for their professional accomplishments, experience, and competence. If male and female board members are fairly similar in their values, experience, and knowledge, the addition of women to an all-male board may not increase the board’s cognitive variety as one might expect at first blush.

  • Even if the women named to corporate boards are different from the men on these boards, they may not speak up in board conversations and they may lack the influence to change the board’s decisions. When individuals are minorities, tokens, or outliers in a group, they often self-censor, holding back from expressing beliefs and opinions that run counter to the beliefs and opinions of the majority of the group. And even when individuals who are minorities, tokens, or outliers speak up, the majority group members may discount their views. If these dynamics occur within corporate boards, boards may not take full advantage of their own cognitive variety.
  • Even if women who are named to corporate boards are different from the men on these boards and even if the women do speak up and influence board decision-making, their influence may not be consistently positive (or consistently negative, for that matter). Some research suggests, for example, that gender-diverse boards make fewer acquisitions than all-male boards (Chen, Crossland and Huang, 2016). But, is this good or bad for firm performance? Companies are likely to benefit from acquisitions in some circumstances and to suffer in other circumstances. If that’s the case, the average effect on firm performance of adding women to the board and thus decreasing risk-taking may be neutral.
  • And, finally, even if the addition of women to corporate boards does improve cognitive variety and decision making, companies may only see benefits to their accounting performance (their sales, profits, return on assets, for example) — not their market returns. Other things being equal, market analysts may, consciously or unconsciously, regard all-male boards as more competent than boards that are more gender-diverse. If so, board gender diversity may be positively related to accounting returns, but not market returns. Indeed, this is what Post and Byron’s meta-analysis showed. Still, the relationship between gender diversity and accounting returns was tiny.

Es bleibt also noch einiges offen.

Interessanterweise gibt es auch eine Auswertung zu CEO-Stellen:

Given the findings of research on board gender diversity, one might wonder about the effects on company performance of CEO gender and top management team gender diversity.

Rigorous, academic studies of CEO gender and company performance tell much the same story as rigorous, academic studies of board gender diversity and company performance do. Ditto for studies of the gender diversity of the top management team.

“The women named to corporate boards may not in fact differ very much in their values, experiences, and knowledge from the men.”

The best evidence comes from a recent meta-analysis of 146 studies (Jeong and Harrison, 2017). The relationship between CEO gender and long-term company performance is statistically significant, the authors find, but tiny. The average correlation between CEO gender and long-term financial performance is .007. It’s hard to get much closer to zero. Similarly, the relationship of top management team (TMT) gender diversity and company performance is statistically significant but very small. The correlation is .03. The authors conclude the following:

“Undoubtedly, breaking the glass ceiling matters. It signals an end, or at least the beginning of an end, to gender exclusivity in firm leadership. Are there further consequences for firm performance if females join a firm’s upper echelons? If so, how and when? An immense investigative effort has been devoted to these questions: over 140 studies in the past several decades, conducted in dozens of countries, and published in journals from many different disciplines and theoretical traditions. Yet, the answers have not been clear or consistent.

Using meta-analytic techniques, we have uncovered findings that help to settle some of those answers. Our foremost conclusion is that there is no cumulative, zero-order evidence of long-term performance declines for firms that have more females in their upper echelons (as CEOs or TMT members).

By and large, the obverse is true: breaking glass helps firms — slightly. There are small but dependably positive associations of female representation in CEO positions and TMTs with long-term value creation for a firm’s fiscal outcomes. The modest size of the positive effects helps explain ambiguity and inconsistency in prior scholarship (past research has been triangulating on a weak signal in a noisy field), and they caution against overclaiming about strong or causally dependable financial benefits (Eagly, 2016)

Also sehr kleine Werte. Mal sehen, was es noch ergeben wird. Es passt dazu, dass Männer und Frauen nicht unbedingt andere Fähigkeiten haben, aber andere Interessen im Schnitt und dass es weitaus weniger Frauen gibt, die den Stress einer Führungsposition überhaupt wollen. Das muss dann die Frauen, die das wollen und die Arbeit investieren, nicht einschränken.
Es könnte aber eben gut sein, dass diese auch nicht viel verändern, weil sie eben das Gleiche machen, was auch Männer machen