Our public challenge of Laura Carstensen, EHRC Commissioner – FOI request

It won’t surprise you that of the 10 Commissioners at the Equality & Human Rights Commission, eight are women. Gender equality is a fine thing:


The EHRC is going to look at the ‘under-representation’ of women on corporate boards later this year:


Commissioner Laura Carstensen is credited as the author of the following gem:

Research shows that diverse boards produce better performance and many companies recognise this. However, there is still much more to be done to improve the representation of women at board level. The aim of this project is to help companies do more to open up the field of board appointments which will help them achieve better results for their company by widening the talent pool. We look forward to working with BIS to shape the project to ensure it’s effective in tackling this issue.

We’re about to email a link to this piece to the EHRC, with the following public challenge to Ms Carstensen:

Your comments (above) clearly imply there’s a causal link between increasing the proportion of women on company boards, and enhanced financial performance. In the course of the past two years Campaign for Merit in Business http://c4mb.wordpress.com has challenged dozens of organisations (including DBIS) and hundreds of individual proponents of ‘more women on boards’ to provide evidence for such a causal link, and no evidence has ever been forthcoming. This is a FOI request asking you to provide evidence of the causal link you’ve implied. Please don’t waste our time pointing us to reports and studies (e.g. McKinsey, Credit Suisse, Catalyst, Thomson Reuters) which show correlations but then make it clear those correlations aren’t evidence of causation and nor do they imply it. Thank you. You might like to read our briefing paper which has the Abstracts of five longitudinal studies showing that increasing female representation on boards leads to financial performance decline:


About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Ms. Carstensen, you’d do the equality drive a favour if you started increasing the representation of male commissioners at the Equality & Human Rights Commission, as eight commissioners are female. You know the saying,the best leadership is leadership by example. So,put your money where your mouth is or else keep it shut.
    Max B.

  • EHRC? What a laugh. It’s basically nothing more than legalised discrimination.

    But criticism of the EHRC aside, perhaps the EHRC should start looking at it’s own gender diversity before meddling with other people’s.

  • Last week there was a story about a group of men kept in slavery and one about men being trafficked as indentured labour. In short real issues of human rights in 21st century England. Wanting an easy ride for a few well off women into boardrooms seem to have nothing to do with human rights. I had a look again at the United Nations declaration that followed WW2 and couldn’t find anything about, jobs for the girls. Talk about a waste of public money I assume the female commissioners are just trying to get some lucrative board seats for themselves.