January 4, 2010
Posted: 04:47 AM ET
...There now are a record 15 Fortune 500 companies with a female CEO, seven of them megacorporations in the largest 100 as measured by annual revenue.
Women CEOs of giant firms remain too small a sample size to draw any conclusions, and it would be a stretch to attribute the 2009 outperformance to gender, says Susan Cabrera, whose study of gender, leadership and team performance was in the December issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly.
"Having said that, research shows that women on average tend to be more risk-averse," Cabrera says, which would give them an advantage in times when it's best to reduce debt, cut costs and conserve cash. There may be a backlash against male CEOs who "swung for the fences and got clobbered," she says.
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