Study: Gender diversity is essential for collaborative excellence

Adding female minds makes workgroups smarter, but there’s more to team dynamics than just elevated intellect. New research examines how women’s interactive processes promote success.

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In a Harvard Business Review study, What Makes A Team Smarter? More Women, professors Anita Woolley and Thomas Malone studied how team/group diversification would affect overall team intelligence.

They found that teams with more women are smarter. From the article:

The standard argument is that diversity is good and you should have both men and women in a group. But so far, the data show the more women, the better.  We have early evidence that performance may flatten out at the extreme end—that there should be a little gender diversity rather than all women.

You do realize you’re saying that groups with women are smarter than groups with men? 

Yes. And you can tell I’m hesitating a little. It’s not that I don’t trust the data. I do. It’s just that part of that finding can be explained by differences in social sensitivity, which we found is also important to group performance. Many studies have shown that women tend to score higher on tests of social sensitivity than men do. So what is really important is to have people who are high in social sensitivity, whether they are men or women.

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