Corporate Execs: Motivated by Profits… and by their Daughters?

I’m told by reliable sources that having kids changes you, and among other things it shifts your views on lots of things.

Add to that the fact that many important decision-makers are parents, and you’ve got the makings of an interesting and important question: is the behaviour of key institutional decision-makers affected by their kids?

Apparently it can be. See this blog posting about political decision-making:
Fathers, Daughters, and Roll Call Voting in the U.S. Senate

The short version: apparently having a daughter is correlated with members of congress voting progressively on issues of special importance to women.

Now, although the data presented there is specifically about congressional voting, it seems highly unlikely that the effect found is limited to that domain. This raises interesting questions about decision-making by corporate executives. Does having a daughter affect a senior executive’s decisions about corporate issues such as on-site day care, maternity leave, etc.? What I love about this question is that it helps further discredit the idea that all corporate decision-makers ever care about is profits. The standard cynical hypothesis is that if a company does something progressive, like making an effort to have women on the Board, it must be motivated by a desire to look progressive and thereby indirectly to increase profits. Alternative hypothesis: maybe the decision-makers in charge have daughters?

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