Want the latest news and research?

Subscribe to Insync insights

How women make the difference to performance

One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure good performance is to ensure gender balanced work groups. Recent board research by Insync and  Gender Worx confirms that gender diverse boards think and perform differently to male dominated boards.

This and other global research point to a number of factors that contribute to better dynamics on gender-balanced boards, including:

  • women’s different experiences and perspectives contribute to fresh thinking and innovation
  • their interpersonal skills lead to more productive discussion and an increased focus on solving tough problems
  • women generally have greater diligence around meeting preparation and processes which increases rigour and accountability
  • greater unity is achieved through a focus on collegiality, responsiveness and reduced conflict

As evidence grows supporting the proposition that the presence of more women in senior leadership roles contributes to better organisational performance, the big question is how does women’s presence make this difference?

It seems that at least part of this performance differential is explained by “collective intelligence”, where a shared or group intelligence emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals. Research has identified collective intelligence as a critical factor in explaining differences in the performance of groups; more than 40% of the performance gap between one group and another can be contributed to collective intelligence.

Collective intelligence is a combination of the average social sensitivity of group members, equality of conversational turn-taking in group discussions and the number of women in the group. Women generally demonstrate greater social sensitivity and this is why their presence makes such a difference. When the representation of women in a group increases and nears a balance, the group’s performance increases. In gender-balanced situations, the benefits of collective intelligence are realised.

A working paper by Karen Morley, co-founder of Insync’s specialist gender diversity division Gender Worx, discusses the benefits of collective intelligence in more detail.


Click here to download the paper (PDF)
Button: free download


Handpicked Insights

Build customer relationships, not transactions

Too many organisations have an excessive internal focus and do not spend sufficient time considering and gaining feedback in relation to the external environment, ...

How to discover and bring to life your Customer Value Proposition

It's a customer's world. Few people would argue that for organisations to survive, they must understand and meet the needs of their customers.

New tech changing the face of customer feedback

We now have the ability to access endless amounts of information in an instant whether at home, work or on the go. We have become spoiled and impatient when we are ...

The power of purpose – views from Intrepid Travel

Many organisations across Australia and the world are learning how discovering and living a new and higher order purpose can transform their organisation from the ...