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[Narrator:] From the University of California at Davis, this is NewsWatch.
[Paul Pfotenhauer:] Women business leaders in Northern California were told that most corporate board members are pale, male and stale. And the antidote for that condition: diversity.
[Nora Denzel:] Well, diversity is incredibly important for corporate boards. Number one because the entire world and customer set is diverse. So if you're not including all the diverse opinions of those that buy your products you might be missing significant parts of the market.
[Paul Pfotenhauer:] Denzel was one of more than 100 female business leaders in Northern California that came together recently to hear the disappointing news that women hold only 8 percent of all the board opportunities in California.
[Nora Denzel:] If you take a look at that number, it's really is abysmal when you look at the half the work force is women, half the population is women and 85 percent of consumer spent is women in the state and yet only 8 percent are on boards. So I would definitely see the next five years at least a doubling of that number.
[Speaker at podium:] Forcing a change on the board is very difficult....
[Paul Pfotenhauer:] The UC Davis business school study also found that nearly a third of these firms have no female top executives. According to Kim Elsbach, a management professor, studies have shown that businesses achieve higher profits with women at the top.
[Kimberly Elsbach:] There is a catalyst study from 2004 that actually measured performance -- return on equity and share holder performance, stock performance -- and found that having more women in the board actually was related to better financial performance.
[Paul Pfotenhauer:] Experts at the UC Davis management school say now that corporate California has the facts, changes should come. Reporting from UC Davis, I'm Paul Pfotenhauer
[Narrator:] For more information please log on to broadcast.ucdavis.edu.
Original Air Date: November 1, 2006 Total Run Time: 00:00:00
• Paul Pfotenhauer, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-6397, firstname.lastname@example.org