Women CFOs taking over the way companies do business - and excelling


An S&P Global Market Intelligence study shows that woman CFOs are increasing companies' profits.

According to a study by S&P Global Market Intelligence, companies looking for better financial returns should consider a woman CFO. 

The study stated that the reason for this was that within the first 24 months of appointing woman CFOs, companies saw, on average, a 6 percent increase in profits and an 8 percent better stock return, compared to performance under male predecessors. 

The study, which looked at 6,000 companies on the Russell 3000 over the last 17 years, showed that these woman brought in $1.8 trillion of additional cumulative profits. 

S&P Global senior director of quantitative research and author of the report Daniel Sandberg said that one of the reasons woman CFOs may be outperforming their male peers is because they are held to a higher standard. 

He said: 

“The bar is a little bit higher for women. The result is that the male group that is a contender for an executive position is a little overfished, and the women contingent is underutilised.” 

The study found that men outnumber women in the CFO role about 6.5:1. 

Sandberg said that companies that hired a woman as CFO had about twice as many woman directors. After hiring a woman CEO, the board tended to increase in diversity the two years after that too. 

Related articles

Three CFOs’ guide to managing boardroom expectations

Productivity SA CFO Okuhle Sidumane, Sappi Southern Africa CFO Pramy Moodley and BMI Coverland FD Tammy Narain explain how effective expectation management helps them ensure every engagement with their board is a success.

From small-town beginnings to the C-suite

CFO Barbara Makhubedu learnt the value of support, determination and relationships from a very young age, and uses those same values as she leads finance at Liberty Two Degrees.