Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Co-founder of Women's World Banking, Michaela Walsh on "Is Risk-taking Only Bad Banking When Done by Women?"

"Michaela Walsh (co-founder of Women's World Banking and author of the upcoming Cosimo book "Founding a Movement, Women's World Banking,1975–1990" -  which tells the story about the founding of this micro-finance institution for women), wrote together with Nancy Carson in a letter to the Financial Times their response to an article published earlier in the FT, "Women bankers linked to rise in risk-taking". That latter article presents a report by the German Bundesbank that claims a link between the more women are represented on a bank board, the riskier the decisions of the bank. Based on Ms. Walsh's extensive experience working with women and finance around the world, she counters this narrow finding by stating her point of view:

"This characterisation appears to be yet another argument against women as full participants in today’s economy." Then she and ms. Carson point out a McKinsey study that found that boards with mixed boards had 56% higher operating profits, and continue to say that during their 15 years leading the Women’s World Banking movement around the globe, they learnt that "...Women are business people. Some take risks, others do not. Some succeed, others do not." Finally, they state that the low participation rate of women on bank and other boards is not strengthening the economy, but a denial of talent and resources. It will be interesting to see how this discussion will develop further as more women will be gaining professional and executive roles in banking and business.

Check the article out on the Financial Times Website.

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