Our thanks to M for this.
It’s difficult to know where to start with this story. For one thing, male unemployment is higher than female unemployment in the UK, and unemployment is a bigger suicide risk factor for men than women, so anything that’s designed to drive up female employement at the cost of male employment is bound to contribute to the already high male suicide rate – including the government initiatives designed to drive women into traditionally male-dominated fields of work, such as engineering.
Anti-male bias in recruitment and promotion is endemic in the public sector, but we’re seeing more cases in the private sector, facilitated in both cases by female-dominated Human Remains departments. The means in the public sector is often the Equality Act 2010, which is gender-blind, but in practise it’s only ever used to preference women over men with respect to jobs in pleasant surroundings. I’ve never heard of a case of it being used to preference men over women, and of course women have a virtual monopoly of unchallenging administrative jobs in both sectors.
Then there’s the issue in the Daily Mail story of ‘unconscious bias’. An extract from the piece:
HSBC Bank said it would introduce a range of measures to promote women across its 37,000-strong workforce – which includes 5,500 senior jobs.
These include implementing the Government’s new ‘name blind’ CV screening initiative for both junior and senior rules. It is hoped that blanking out the names of candidates will eradicate potential ‘unconscious bias’ in the initial selection process and ‘ensure that candidates proceed to interview on merit’.
The bank will require recruitment firms to send it ‘50/50 candidate shortlists’ for all senior manager roles.
The idea that men display ‘unconscious bias’ towards recruiting and promoting men is yet another feminist myth that won’t die. We know from Steve Moxon’s The Woman Racket (2008) that the group displaying strong in-group preference is not men, but women.
Stuart Gulliver, 54, Group Chief Executive of HSBC, calls his industry ‘male, pale and stale’, managing to fit into just four words sexism, racism, and ageism. The four women on his bank’s board – out of a total of 17 directors – are all non-executives. Does that alone not tell this man anything?
The piece included a link to a study of German banks which found that increasing the proportion of women on executive boards increased risk taking. This makes a mockery of the feminist claim that if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, the financial crash of 2009 would not have happened.
Unusually for a piece on a gendered matter, the journalist is a man, James Salmon. The only intelligent content in his whole feminist-friendly article is the following, right at the end:
But the initiative was dismissed as ‘nonsense’ by David Buik, a veteran commentator from broker Panmure Gordon. He said:
‘If half of senior jobs are filled by women on merit then so be it. But just to clutter the respective teams up with women on a quota basis has to be nonsense.