Sunday, January 18, 2009

Men or Women: Who's a better driver ? A better CEO?

The verdict is in. Women are better drivers according to stats:

Women have less accidents
Women have less traffic violations (68% women have no traffic violations; 64% of men)
Women are less likely to get killed traveling over the same distance) (men are 77% more likely to die than women)

These stats do not account for average speed of travel and highway driving; there may be something in those numbers; people are less likely to die from car crashes in the suburbs than on highways. I wonder what the data shows if only highway driving is considered. carried this article.

In the financial sector there are many high-profile women especially in money management. Women make excellent money managers maybe because they take more calculated risk/rewards; risk/reward is an important fundamental in driving returns. A UC Davis study of 1991-1997 showed that in households, men trade 45% more than women; trading instead of buy and hold subsequently lowered men's returns are lowered by 2.65 percentage points a year as opposed to 1.72 percentage points for women.

One thing is clear. There are no scandals involving a woman CEO that brought a company to the brink of financial ruin; certainly none that pushed a company over the edge. The list of male-run companies with boiler-room deal-driven cultures is significant (most of Wall Street; Enron, MCI-Worldcom, Tyco...)

I wonder how gender plays out in shareholder returns in running public companies and venture-backed startups? Is there is a correlation ? Is such a study even possible ?

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