"Women in the Boardroom," "Risks for Trans Teens," and "A Diabetes Breakthrough"
Women in the Boardroom
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, more
women have been asked to join the boards
of American public companies. According to
research from the Carlson School of Management and the Stockholm School of Economics,
these gains aren’t widespread across all sectors
but are mostly concentrated in companies that
already had inclusive corporate cultures.
The findings came after researchers examined
firms’ financial data, strength ratings for diversity
policies, political leanings, and corporate board
data, consisting of 34,283 directors from 5,936
U.S. public companies from 2005 to 2017. They
found that inclusive companies react to what’s
happening in the greater public discourse and
then reach out beyond their existing networks
when recruiting new board members. However,
companies with less inclusive cultures often
react negatively to increased public attention.
Researchers also found that more women on
boards doesn’t weaken the quality of the board.
“Our research shows management previously
focused on a very narrow pool, reinforcing the
idea of the ‘Old Boys Club,’” says Tracy Wang, a
finance professor in the Carlson School and coauthor of the study. “When we look at stock market
reactions, we find investors have a more favorable
view of these newly recruited female directors
relative to the newly recruited male directors.”
This research was first published in The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.
Risks for Trans Teens
The teenage years are especially
fraught when it comes to risky
behaviors. But if you are trans or
gender diverse—meaning a person who doesn’t see themselves
on the male/female binary—the
challenges can be life threatening.
Research from the U of M’s
Medical School analyzed data
from the 2019 Minnesota Student
Survey, a triennial, anonymous
report that is one of the longest-running youth surveys in the U.S.
The survey asked 9th and 11th
graders, “Have you ever traded
sex or sexual activity to receive
money, food, drugs, alcohol, a
place to stay, or anything else?”
(Sex trading experiences can
include survival sex, exploitation,
violence, and trafficking.)
The results showed that 5.9 percent of transgender and gender
diverse students reported trading
sex, compared to 1.2 percent of
cisgender students (those whose
personal identity corresponds
with their birth sex). What’s more,
75.9 percent of transgender and
gender diverse students who
traded sex had attempted suicide,
compared to 30.1 percent who
had not traded sex. For cisgender
students, the suicide attempt rate
for those who had traded sex was
45.9 percent, compared to 7.2
percent for those who hadn’t.
Transgender and gender
diverse students are also at higher
risk for several other mental
health challenges, including selfinjury, anxiety, and depression.
This research first appeared in the March 2022 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
A Diabetes Breakthrough
Diabetes causes nearly 90,000
deaths each year—the seventh
leading cause of death in the U.S.
Researchers at the U of M and
the Mayo Clinic have made a
breakthrough discovery that may
be a major step forward in curing
this chronic condition by storing
specialized pancreatic islet cells
at a low temperature and then
rewarming them, effectively paving
the way for islet cell transplants.
Now doctors may be able to take
a group of cells from a healthy
pancreas and transfer them to a
recipient—who then can make and
release insulin on her own.
The challenge has been that
multiple donors are needed to
achieve insulin independence in
a recipient, which increases the
risks that come from repeated
surgeries and multiple rounds of
This new islet storage lets doctors
pool islets from several donors
and administer them with a single
injection. In mice, transplantation
of these cells cured diabetes in 92
percent of recipients within 24 to
48 hours after transplant.
“This method could revolutionize the supply chain for islet
isolation, allocation, and storage
before transplant,” says John
Bischof, a mechanical engineering
Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the Institute for
Engineering in Medicine.
This study was originally published in the
March 14 edition of Nature Medicine.
Thanks to University Relations for their help in compiling this information.