Firms that have "mixed management teams are 20 percent less likely to fail," Mexican economist and former energy secretary Georgina Kessel said Monday, citing data from a 2010 study by consultants McKinsey & Company.

She along with Honduran pharmceutical executive Juliette Handal de Castillo and U.S. World Bank economist Gladys Lopez Acevedo were taking part in the 2nd International Congress on the Intellectual Experience of Women in the 21st Century.

Citing McKinsey's 2010 edition of "Women Matter: Gender diversity, a corporate performance driver," Kessel said that companies whose top executives are at least 30 percent women obtain 41 percent more return on capital, 56 percent more operating profits and are 35 percent more profitable for shareholders than those with "no woman in senior management."

In spite of that, Kessel, who now heads state-owned bank Banobras, regretted that in her country "a scant 3.6 percent of large companies" employ women in executive positions.

On the first day of the congress meeting at Mexico City's Palace of Fine Arts, Kessel reviewed some of the difficulties that arose when she had key management responsibilities in state oil giant Pemex.

She recalled that currently "70 percent of the decisions affecting economic growth in a country are influenced by women," who also influence or directly take "80 percent of consumer decisions."

Follow us on twitter.com/foxnewslatino
Like us at facebook.com/foxnewslatino