Earlier this afternoon I received an email with a government press release. I’ve taken a few comments from some of the people mentioned in it.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:
The employment rate for women has never been higher and there are now more women on FTSE boards than ever before. But we need to go further, particularly when it comes to paving the way to the executive level. Companies cannot afford to miss out on the skills and talent of the whole population if the UK is going to compete in a fast-moving global economy. This is not just about diversity for diversity’s sake, but about improving performance and productivity. [My emphasis.]
It surely doesn’t need stating again, does it, that no evidence exists of a causal link between increasing the proportion of women on boards, and financial performance improvement? The only causal link we’re aware of – from longitudinal studies – is with financial performance decline.
For the past four years Campaign for Merit in Business has been challenging the government and in particular Javid’s department – DBIS – to provide evidence for the causal link he and others keep implying. No evidence has ever been provided for the link, and Samantha Beckett, a senior civil servant in the department, recently won a ‘Lying Feminist of the Month’ award over the issue – here.
Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan said:
Having more women on FTSE boards allows companies to benefit from the enormous wealth of talent these women offer, and means these women can act as powerful role models for the next generation of girls.
We have come a long way but we must do more to make sure women everywhere are able to fulfil their potential. I want to see an end to all male boards anywhere on the FTSE 350, and much more progress at the executive layer where we know progress has been slowest to date. [My emphasis.]
Progress has been slowest to date in that area, because companies still appoint into the executive layer on the basis of merit, and one element of merit is a strong work ethic. Dr Catherine Hakim’s Preference Theory (2000) perfectly explains why ‘progress has been slowest to date’ in this area.
Sir Philip Hampton said:
I am delighted to take on Lord Davies’s great work [bullying FTSE100 companies into ‘voluntarily’ appointing more women to their boards, with the threat of legislated gender quotas] around Women on Boards and I want to now turn my attention to the FTSE 350. I will focus on improving representation in the executive layer of companies, as well as maintaining the momentum on boards. This means looking at the talent pipeline for female executives and emerging non-executive directors to ensure we create opportunities and the right conditions for women to succeed. [What would those ‘right conditions’ be, other than yet more anti-male discrimination?]
Corporate Governance Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe, said:
As a former director of several companies, I know that business needs to do more to ensure that female talent is harnessed and not wasted. Encouraging progress has been made, but we now need to focus on the talent pipeline of capable women to ensure they can see a viable way ahead into leadership positions.
This will ultimately make companies more innovative and more competitive; a leadership team made up of men and women better represents the employee and customer base giving firms an edge in the products and services they offer. [My emphasis.]
A leadership team made up of men and women with a wide spectrum of IQs would also ‘better represent the employee and customer base’, so would logically also ‘give firms an edge in the products and services they offer’, given this line of thinking. It’s outrageous, how few genuinely stupid people there are on FTSE350 boards.