I’d sooner engage in a bout of Sumo wrestling with Julie Bindel…

[The BBC radio interview with Francesca Lagerberg has been posted onto our YouTube channel – here. Please leave comments there, rather than here. Thank you.]

Grant Thornton International – GTI – is the hapless employer of a very gormless woman, Francesca Lagerberg. The start of the Wikipedia page on GTI:

Grant Thornton is the world’s sixth largest professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms which provide assurance, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses, public interest entities, and public sector entities.

Ms Lagerberg’s profile on the GTI website is here. She is the company’s ‘Global Leader – Tax Services’. For a gormless woman, she’s clearly done well for herself. The start of her profile:

Francesca has worked in tax for more than 20 years and is the global leader for tax services. Her main focus is helping the Grant Thornton member firms to grow their tax practices and attract, retain and develop talent in the entire global organisation by encouraging a consistently inspiring culture.

Several supporters emailed me this morning, urging me to listen to a four-minute-long interview on this morning’s Today programme, in which a gormless woman I’d never heard of – Ms Lagerberg, it transpires – had evidently uttered some very silly comments about the alleged positive impact of increased female representation on boards, on corporate financial performance.

This is a subject we’ve covered exhaustively at Campaign for Merit in Business, my disinclination to pursue fleeting media pieces on the topic is strong, and I have a lot on my plate, with the Conservative party conference starting in just five days’ time. I replied to one supporter:

I’d sooner engage in a bout of Sumo wrestling with Julie Bindel, than cover this damned story.

Fortunately two supporters kept pressing me, and one is a party member – he kindly gave me the exact time of the interview – so I listened to it, and I’m very pleased I did. You can listen to the interview (with Sarah Montague) on iPlayer for the next 29 days – here, 2:41:49 – 2:45:35.

We’ll be capturing the piece permanently for Ms Lagerberg’s Gormless Feminist of the Month award. Her overall contribution was gormless, but these are my two personal favourite comments:

(2:44:14) As ever, this is all about correlation, it’s not necessarily about causation.

(2:45:29) I’d like to hope the commercial argument is the strongest argument of all.

I’ve already emailed her to congratulate her, and attached the award we presented to Professor Kirstein Rummery for her remark on the same subject.

We’ll be presenting Ms Lagerberg with her award as soon as our award-winning media team has uploaded her interview onto our YouTube channel, and our award-winning graphic design team has prepared her certificate.

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