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Study: REIT Boards With Women Outperform All-Male Boards

Studies show REITs with women represented on their boards often perform better over time than those made up of only men.


A study of 165 U.S. REITs conducted by Wells Fargo & Co. analysts Jeffrey Donnelly and Dori Kesten found that between 2006 and 2017, whenever women accounted for an above-average number of seats on REIT boards, shares would increase an estimated 2.33 percentage points more over a five-year period than boards with all-male members.

While prison, advertising and energy infrastructure REITs were found to be the most progressive in this regard, industrial, single-family housing and healthcare REITs had the least female representation on their boards during the 11-year period. Timber and data center REITs showed the worst results when it came to leadership diversification, with the number of women represented on company boards declining from 2006, Bloomberg reports.

Overall female representation on REIT boards has risen over the last 10 years from 8% to 15.5%, though this number is still behind the S&P 500 average, which is currently around 22%, Bloomberg reports.