[This challenge was first made by Mike Buchanan on another website, which is no longer operational, on 28 October 2012.]
My attention was drawn today to a statement made to a Scottish newspaper, the Herald, by Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of Faculty, Aberdeen Business School. We’ve just emailed her with the following, which should be self-explanatory:
Professor Marcella, good afternoon. I see from the following link that you’ve been reported as supporting legislated quotas for women on boards:
Can you possibly be unaware, as the Dean of Faculty of a Business School, of the evidence showing that driving up the number of women on boards leads to a decline in corporate performance? At least three robust studies show the negative impact of legislated quotas on Norwegian publicly-listed companies – the most well-known being Ahern/Dittmar (2011). If you are aware of these studies, do you believe a decline in corporate performance is a price worth paying to get more women on boards?
If you believe there are studies showing that ‘improving’ gender diversity on boards causes corporate performance to improve, would you be so good as to cite one robust study, without (mis)representing correlation as causation? Thank you. The list of organisations and individuals who have been unable to cite even one such study is a lengthy one, and grows by the week.
I shall be happy to publish your response on our blog, where the content of this email will shortly be posted.