Initially, it looks like we are being intentionally controversial, playing on the stereotype that men are less caring than women. However, when it comes to sustainability within businesses, we think posing a question which starts a debate is important.
In this article, we discuss the results of global studies into whether businesses with female executives invest more time and money into environmentally friendly practices.
Females are, stereotypically, seen as being more compassionate and caring than their male counterparts, which has prompted several studies looking into whether this stereotype bears any relation to how eco-friendly an organisation is.
So, are female-led business more environmentally aware?
Here are the results of three global studies…
The study “Does Increased Representation of Female Executives Improve Corporate Environmental Investment?” by the College of Economics & Management in China found female executives invested more into environmental sustainability processes to try and reduce emissions and pollutants than male executives. And the reason cited for this was due to a female’s “inherent sense of social responsibility”.
This is certainly in alignment with the theory of Feminist Care Ethics, which suggest in the face of “serious environment dilemmas”, women are more likely to make decisions which differ from mainstream male behaviour.
Meanwhile, in a study titled “Are women Greener?” by the University of Adelaide in Australia, 1,893 environmental lawsuits filed against firms in the US between 2000 to 2015 were examined against the gender diversity of the companies’ boards.
The results found that for every “additional woman appointed to a corporate board”, the firm reduced its chances of being sued over environmental violations by 1.5 per cent.
The University of Hong Kong reported similar findings in their study, “Are Firms with Female CEOs More Environmentally Friendly?”, stating that businesses “led by female CEOs, pollute less, receive less environmental penalties and have a higher awareness of environmental protection.”
In answer to the question we posed: Are companies with female CEOs more likely to be environmentally friendly?
The answer, from these initial studies, is: Yes.
So, where does this leave men?
Firstly, it doesn’t mean men care less than women, nor does it mean men have no place in hierarchy and should be replaced by women.
What it does show is that female entrepreneurs are more likely to act on environmental issues which is a positive – not only for gender equality and the environment – but for businesses looking to improve their commitment to sustainability.
Regardless of gender, in the current climate, your business must demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and waste management, and the best way to do that is with a Certified Sustainable accreditation.
Certified Sustainable accreditation provides a clear and visible means for UK manufacturers to showcase their commitment to best-practice waste management and sustainability.