Gender-diverse companies thrive only in areas that embrace diversity

first_img Read Full Story Do gender-diverse companies make more money than businesses run primarily by men? If research says they perform better, that could bolster the argument that women should have more access to top positions in organizations. But previous studies have produced conflicting results. Why?We put this question to Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Letian Zhang, who studies organizational theory and strategy with a focus on social inequalities and status hierarchies. He explores the issue in a recent paper scheduled to be published in the journal Organization Science.Instead of following the usual methodology of studying organizations in a particular industry or geography, Zhang went wide and deep. He developed a longitudinal sample of 1,069 leading public firms in 35 countries and 24 industries. His chief finding: The social context around companies matters. That is, gender-diverse firms tend to thrive only in parts of the world that embrace gender diversity, like Europe.“For business leaders, this paper provides some preliminary evidence that diversity is positively correlated with productivity in contexts where gender diversity is valued,” Zhang said. “This is presumably because this kind of context creates a safe environment for women to contribute their ideas freely and therefore encourage the flow and exchange of ideas, increasing team performance.”last_img read more

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Millions ordered into lockdown in India over virus fears

first_img‘We are at war’ Modi also urged Indians to thank medical workers and other emergency personnel by clapping or banging pots and pans for five minutes at 5:00 pm — and many in the cities responded with enthusiasm.Neighborhoods silent during the curfew burst into life as the sounds of clapping, cookware being hit and the bellow of conch shells — an auspicious Hindu ritual — filled the air from people’s balconies.”The enemy is there, invisible and elusive… We are trying to defeat it. We are at war, a public health war certainly,” schoolteacher Sumita Dutta told AFP in Kolkata as she clapped her hands in front of her home.South Asia is the world’s most densely populated region, while India has an overburdened public health system that suffers from a lack of doctors and hospitalExperts warn that the country would not escape the highly infectious disease.”We are in for a very long fight,” warned virologist Shahid Jameel of biomedical research charity Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance.In Mumbai’s Dharavi, one of the world’s biggest slums, residents said there was growing fears about the virus.”We live by adjusting with each other in small confined spaces. But now we are not allowed to step out at all and police officials are enforcing it strictly. So it’s a challenging situation,” Raju Shaikh told AFP. “The people of this country have announced it today that we can take on and defeat as  big a challenge as possible if we decide.”Normally bustling streets in the capital New Delhi and financial hub of Mumbai were mostly deserted as many people stayed indoors. ‘Stay at home’  As the curfew drew to a close with authorities hailing its success, the government appealed to states late Sunday to impose mandatory lockdowns on virus-affected districts.A growing number of states and territories, including the capital New Delhi, heeded the call Sunday and banned all activity except for essential services.Delhi, with a population of almost 20 million, will seal its land borders from early Monday, shut shops and private sector offices until March 31.Other states imposed partial or full lockdowns, with many closing borders, restricting movement and halting most public transport.Some, like West Bengal with a population of more than 90 million, locked down major cities but not rural areas.Indian Railways, one of the world’s biggest networks, Sunday cancelled all services except suburban and goods trains until March 31.Incoming international flights were already barred for a week, while schools, entertainment facilities and monuments such as the iconic Taj Mahal have been shut.The curfew — seen as a rehearsal for longer lockdowns — came as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India surged past 360, with seven deaths.Experts say a lack of testing could be hiding the true scale of the health crisis in the country.Testing for the virus on Saturday was expanded to private laboratories and will now include asymptomatic people who had contact with confirmed cases.center_img Hundreds of millions of Indians were ordered into partial or full lockdowns Sunday as the nation stepped up its measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.The raft of state shutdown measures came as the country of 1.3 billion people, the world’s second-most populous nation, observed a 14-hour voluntary curfew on Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said would test the country’s ability to fight the pandemic.”This is the start of a long fight,” Modi tweeted Sunday as the curfew came to an end. Topics :last_img read more

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