Seriously. They bring good things to the companies they lead, or a part of.
According to Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Jalil, research has shown that public-listed companies with more women directors had better returns on equity or stock prices versus their respective market indices.
She was speaking at the Women's Summit 2011 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The research was undertaken by Shireen Muhyideen, who led the roundtable discussion of the Women's Summit, last year.
Shahrizat pointed out that on June 27, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the Cabinet's approval for a policy that advocated for at least 30% women at the decision-making level in the private sector.
She noted that the world's Fortune 500 companies, particularly in Europe and the United States, had all improved their financial performance and enjoyed better returns on investments largely due to having women directors who insisted on accountability, innovation and a better work environment.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who attended the event, said women had become the majority of university graduates (60%) and the majority of consumer goods purchasing decision-makers (80%) in many countries.
"Putting a minimum of 30% of women in the boardrooms will help companies develop more gender sensitive products and services," he said.
He urged Shahrizat's ministry to take the lead in drawing up serious training intervention strategies to get women to the top.
"There must be serious mentoring programmes put in place to make women board'-ready," Muhyiddin said during his keynote address at the summit here.