Do Smarter Teams Have More Women?

Rosie the Riveter

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The June 2011 Harvard Business Review included an article that will no doubt spark interest across both sexes. In What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women, researchers find there is little correlation between a group's collective intelligence and the IQs of its individual members. However if the group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises.

The research team led by Professors Anita Wooley and Thomas Malone gave subjects from ages 18 to 60 standard intelligence tests and assigned them randomly to teams. Each team was asked to complete several tasks including brainstorming, decision making, and solving complex problems. Teams were given intelligence scores based on their performance. Though the teams that had members with higher IQs did not earn much higher scores, those that had more women did.

In addition, the study’s results combat the idea that diversity is good and you should have both men and women in a group as the data show, the more women, the better.

My initial reaction: this is great - it can potentially create opportunities for my daughters in the future should corporations embrace the concept! But I was also curious what correlation, if any, was found between cultural or age variations in the group. I am also leery of results that indicate diversity is not the better option as my experience has informed me otherwise.

While further research is expected, I am curious if our listed companies have found this group dynamic to be true. What has been your experience? What do you think of the study - comment below and let's begin a discussion. Click the following link to read the interview with the authors:  http://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-women/ar/1

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