This paper reports about a field experiment conducted to estimate the impact of the share of women in business teams on their performance. Teams consisting of undergraduate students in business studies start up a venture as part of their curriculum. The gender composition of teams is manipulated through the random assignment of students to teams. Teams with an equal gender mix perform better than male-dominated and female-dominated teams in terms of sales, profits and earnings per share. We explore various mechanisms and find that mutual monitoring is more intense in mixed teams than in homogeneous teams.
Measures of business performance: sales, profits, and profits per share.
Gender-balanced teams outperform teams dominated by men, with sales and profits increasing as the percentage of women in the team moves from 20% to 50%. Gender-balanced teams also outperform women-dominated teams, although this result is only suggestive given the low number of women-dominated teams in the study.