American Companies Run By CEOs with Daughters Spend More On CSR: New Study

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Why do some of America’s largest corporations spend an extra US$59.5 million a year on corporate social responsibility? Well, new research by Professor Henrik Cronqvist at the University of Miami and Frank Yu of the China Europe International Business School suggests it’s because they’re run by CEOs who have daughters, and that where the main decision maker has a female child, the company is generally much nicer to employees. Plus, there are positive spin-off effects for the wider society as well! While prior research has shown that judges with daughters tend to vote more liberally and Congressional members with daughters are more likely to support liberal issues, particularly those concerning reproductive rights, this study is the first to show the impact having a daughter can have on the way a CEO runs a company.

This is the first time that the effect on the behaviour of CEOs of large American corporations has been examined in depth, and the research, titled Shaped By Their Daughters: Executives, Female Socialization and Corporate Social Responsibility, looked at the decisions made by almost 400 CEOs (including 3.7 percent women) who, between them, have a total of almost 1,000 children. It found that having a daughter also impacts the way CEOs run their companies and that the effect is greater if the daughter is the CEO’s first-born.

Interestingly, having a son doesn’t have the same results mentioned, and firms that change from a CEO who has a daughter to one who doesn’t see a noticeable fall-off in these types of CSR-related activities. Hiring a new CEO who has a daughter leads to increased CSR-related activity. If there’s a leadership change, companies that have a good CSR track record are more likely to hire CEOs with daughters. So the next time you’re weighing a company’s job offer, take time to find out the gender of the CEO’s children!

CEOs with daughters tend to show a stronger attachment to society at large and concern for the well being of stakeholders –spending about 13.4 percent of the firm’s net income on CSR related matters. Plus, having a female child makes a male CEO almost a third more likely to make CSR decisions similar to those made by a female CEO.

Overall, this information gives us an insight that could work to our advantage. If you have happened to invent a new product that benefits society and are looking for an angel investor – find a venture capital firm run by a CEO with a daughter! Parents shape their daughters’ behaviour, and in turn, girls influence the decisions their mum and dad make at work. Children do shape their parents’ beliefs and preferences, with real implications for decision making at the very top of corporate America.

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