A token female, the woman added to an all-male team in a field dominated by men—engineering, technology, construction or the military, for example—can do a lot more than potentially boost perceptions of diversity.
An Academy of Management Journal article concludes that teams with even a single woman outperform all-male teams in succeeding at complex tasks—provided team members listen to the woman and act on her suggestions.
“Women often feel it’s hard to get their voice heard in a room full of men,” said Crystal I.C. Farh of the University of Washington. “We wanted to understand how we can make that happen and benefit from women voicing their suggestions.”