Margaret Thatcher once observed, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” The “Iron Lady” was talking about politics, but research from American business supports her statement.
Last year, U.S. venture capital firm First Round Capital examined their investments from the past decade and found that investments in businesses with at least one female founder performed 63% better than investments in businesses with all-male founding teams. Meanwhile, Boston-based trading platform Quantopian compared the performance of Fortune 100 companies run by women CEOs against the S&P 500. They concluded that between 2002 and 2014, companies with women CEOs produced returns that were 226% better than the S&P average.
These results should not be a surprise. In a marketplace where over half of consumers are female, a female perspective on key business and management decisions can make the difference in achieving market success.
Examples here in Slovakia drive this point home. One of the founders of Slovakia’s successful gaming company Pixel Federation is Lucia Šicková, a dynamic leader who keeps Pixel Federation innovative and fresh in a very competitive industry. They have found that a gaming company cannot thrive by exclusively attracting male gamers. In fact, one of Pixel’s most successful products is actually more popular with females.
The U.S. Embassy has long been a supporter of Slovak women leading the way in business, politics, and civil society; including helping establish the Slovak Women’s Platform. Earlier this month we invited social entrepreneur Marga Fripp to speak about entrepreneurship and social and economic inclusion of women in the 21st Century. She commented that “Investing in women is simply ‘smart economics.’ It pays dividends in creating jobs and development. Women reinvest 90% of their earnings in their families and communities. Despite the difficulties women face in balancing career and family life, women entrepreneurs are powerful role models to their children and to society, and they are wise negotiators in their families and their communities.”
Slovakia needs more women in its business leadership ranks. Whether it is making the study of technology more welcoming to female students or increasing the number of female founders and investors, these efforts just make good business sense.