Survey: Women in the boardroom

On many aspects of gender diversity in the boardroom, corporate directors disagree.

Here are three views on the benefits of diversity in which, as recently as 2013, male and female directors held widely divergent views:

Women bring fresh perspectives and diversity of thought, according to 34% of women and fully 57% of men.

“Women have a different perspective on life and therefore on how to conduct business,” said a male director.

“Women bring knowledge of female buyers’ behavior,” said a female director.

Women are more willing than men to ask questions and challenge the status quo, according to 29% of women but only 3% of men.

“We can’t leave the room without resolving an issue,” said a female director.

Women are more collaborative and inclusive, according to 20% of women but only 3% of men.

“Women start negotiations at point 40 or 60 and achieve results; men start at point 0 or 100 and argue to argue,” said a female director.

Though boards say they want diversity, once women get on them, their difficulties are certainly not over: 87% of female directors reported facing gender-related hurdles.

— Adapted from “Dysfunction in the Boardroom,” Boris Groysberg and Deborah Bell, Harvard Business Review.