Isn’t that just like a woman?

In honor of International Women’s Day, a few facts with a feminine flair.


Women’s ways of giving: Bank of America Merrill Lynch recently asked the folks over at The Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University to take a look at the giving patterns of high-net-worth women. Here are some fascinating findings from the report.

  • In identifying the primary motivators of their philanthropy, 81.7% of women put desire to make a difference at the top of the list, with organizational efficiency coming in at a close second (80.5%), followed by commitment to their local communities (78.2%). In addition, 65.7 percent of women say they put their money where they volunteer.
  • When asked how they choose the organizations they support, almost 82% of respondents cited personal experience with the organization, 72.5 percent identified an organizational connection to self, family, or friends, and 46.4 percent listed the organization’s communication of impact.
  • As for factors that lead women to stop giving to a specific charity, 49% pointed to too frequent solicitation or inappropriate ask amount, 41% said they had decided to support other causes, and 31% listed a change in household circumstances.

Do women on boards improve governance? The answer is “yes,” according to a December blog post from Corporate Secretary, an online resource to corporate secretaries, general counsel and governance professionals in North America. While plowing through a “growing body of evidence” about the impact of women directors, CS’s deputy editor Aarti Maharaj unearthed a plethora of gender-specific factoids, including the following.

  • A 2008 study by professors Renée Adams of the European Corporate Governance Institute and Daniel Ferreira of the London School of Economics found that women tend to have better attendance records at board meetings than their male counterparts.  “In fact, the more women on the board, the more men’s attendance record improves,” says Richard Leblanc, associate professor of corporate governance at York University.
  •  Women tend to raise questions their male counterparts often disregard. “Men are more concerned about strong internal controls, keeping up with the new regulatory environments and good corporate governance processes,” says Henrietta Fore, board chair and chief executive of Holsman International, an investment and management company. “Women, on the other hand, are particularly concerned with succession, growing the senior staff and sustainable shared value, and this tends to lead to good governance.”
  •  Companies with higher numbers of female directors are likely to realize long-term management and communications benefits, some governance scholars say.

The yin and yang of leadership: A study out of Stanford University reports that women who are in touch with and able to control their masculine side do very well professionally.

“Being able to regulate one’s masculine behavior does not simply put women on par with men, it gives them even more of an advantage,” the researchers state. In fact, “self-monitoring masculine women received 1.5 times as many promotions as feminine women, regardless of whether those women were high or low self-monitors.”

The message to women who aspire to leadership? Go for balance. “To be successful, you must be assertive and confident, but if you are aggressive as a woman you are sometimes punished for behaving in ways that are contrary to the feminine stereotype.”


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    As always good read! glass mosaic tiles

  2. Thanks Rebekah for these statistics on how women give and for reasons women stop giving to organizations. Very helpful post. Rhoda

  3. I’m glad you found the numbers helpful, Rhoda. This is your audience. Be encouraged.

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