(Phys.org) Support for gender diversity in organizations and institutions has risen steadily in recent years, with reports and pundits hailing the strengths and virtues of having a female voice involved in decision making processes. Yet little research exists on just why gender diversity works. A new study led by a Ryerson University researcher exploring gender diversity in science research sets out to examine if gender diversity leads to better results, be it in the lab or the boardroom.
Lesley Campbell is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at Ryerson University and an expert in evolution, ecology and botany. In conducting her research and publishing papers, she was intrigued by the issue of research team composition and whether diverse groups had more success than groups comprised of uniform membership such as individuals of the same gender.
Campbell, along with former researchers from Rice University, decided to ask a basic question: Does diversity have an influence on the success of groups?
Her recently published paper, "Gender-Heterogeneous Working Groups Produce Higher Quality Science," offers the first empirical evidence that heterogeneous teams produce results perceived to be of higher quality by peers than results produced by homogeneous teams.