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Appointing a Female CEO? Beware of Media Attention

ceo-2Investors are skittish when new CEOs get lots of press, but only when those leaders are women.

Based on the research of Kevin Gaughan, Edward (Ned) Smith and Jason Pierce

No fuss, no fanfare: that appeared to be IBM’s philosophy when, in 2011, it quietly named the first female CEO in its 100-year history.

Some consider this low-key appointment simply part of the company’s dislike of drama, as well as its penchant for keeping the spotlight on the company, rather than on a specific executive. But the Kellogg School’s Ned Smith has a different theory.Maybe, he thinks, IBM simply figured out something Smith has suspected for a while: companies that appoint female leaders are better off if they avoid announcing those CEO appointments with anything approaching pomp and circumstance.

The Advantages of Female LeadershipSmith, an associate professor of management and organizations, got the idea for this research while contemplating the following conundrum: A growing body of research has found several advantages associated with female leadership, such as more collaborative work environments and more innovation

Read more: Appointing a Female CEO? Beware of Media Attention – Investors are skittish when new CEOs get lots of press, but only when those leaders are women.

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CONVERSATIONS

  1. That is an argument certainly playing out in the political spectrum.

    The Donald has got a LOT more media coverage than rafts of candidates added together – and certainly more than HRC. Not to mention that as a relatively unknown quantity he is not being questioned to anything like the depth that she is.

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