University of Pittsburgh
November 7, 2007

Pitt Faculty Expert Available to Discuss Women and Leadership

Family-friendly firms show positive returns on their stock prices, says Pitt Professor Audrey Murrell
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-According to recently released McKinsey research, evidence of a growing positive link between the bottom line and women in senior level positions is evident, specifically in European companies. According to the "Financial Times," the report, launched at the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society (, comes at a time when U.S. boardroom research is showing that Fortune 500 companies with the highest proportion of female directors are more profitable and efficient, on average, than those with the lowest proportion. These reports indicate the rising role of women in leadership positions as an international trend.

Audrey Murrell, associate professor of business administration in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, with secondary appointments in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, looks at the measurable return from paying attention to diversity in the workplace. Her research, published in "Business & Society" (, looked at firms that received public recognition for being socially responsible in terms of "family friendly" workplace policies and programs. These measures included firms that have strong work-family policies, generous support for working women, and other resources to help employees balance the work and nonwork portions of their lives.

"Our data showed that firms labeled "family-friendly" showed a positive return on their stock price," says Murrell. "This means being socially responsible, in terms of diversity, has a measurable impact on a company's performance-be it issues of the work environment and return on equity, as the findings of the Women's Forum study show, or in terms of stock price and family-friendly policies, as shown in my own research."

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