What changes with women in the boardroom?

Editor’s Note: Kelly Wallace is CNN’s digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. Read her other columns and her reports at CNN Parents and follow her @KellyWallaceTV on Twitter.

Story highlights

Companies with more women in management perform better, research shows

Experts: Women are more likely to stay at a company when there are more women at top

Flexibility, autonomy make workplaces desirable for women, one female manager said

CNN  — 

Just as I began covering parenting and women for CNN, a college friend pointed out that the company where he’s president is far outside the norm: eight of the company’s 15 executives are women.

Eight out of 15? That’s a management ratio rarely seen in corporate America – a ratio this women’s issues reporter dreams of for every company.

“We were at a meeting the other day, and there (were), I counted, 34 people in this big conference room, executives at companies … There were four women,” said Jennifer Keough, one of the eight female executives at the legal services firm Garden City Group. “Four women.”