Followers of this website will need no reminding of the evidence presented by Campaign for Merit in Business since 2012, of the causal link between increasing the proportion of women on corporate boards, and consequent financial DECLINE. The evidence is here. I presented it to House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries in 2012, the video (56:50) of the latter session is here.
Long story short? There is NO business case to appoint more women to corporate boards – and, by extension, to senior positions generally.
In the six years since those inquiries, I have tried but failed to get the mainstream media to report on the story. Attempts to engage with politicians in order to end government threats of legislated gender quotas have proved futile. The threats started with The Davies Report, an outrageous report whose author was a Labour peer. Commissioning that report was one of the first acts of David Cameron after becoming became prime minister. The report’s remit was not whether there should be more women on corporate boards, but rather how the government could use its power to make that a reality.
The threats of legislated gender quotas remain, and has moved on from FTSE100 to FTSE350 companies, the government’s goal being gender parity on FTSE350 boards in the next few years. Directors of major companies, along with the CBI and the Institute of Directors, have shown no interest in the issue. Some years ago a collective madness descended on the business community – gynocentrism.
I don’t often buy The Daily Telegraph, but did so today, and was both surprised and delighted to read a piece by Sophie Jarvis, programmes director at The Entrepreneurs Network thinktank, Women won’t appreciate a patronising BBC quota. It’s a Premium article, and you can read one such article a week if you’re a non-subscriber (registration is free). The key words:
Outside the media, where gender quotas have been tried they have backfired. Norway introduced a 40 per cent quota for female directors in 2003. Later research found that the quota led to the employment of inexperienced women who ended up making bad decisions, leading to lower profitability at the companies themselves. [J4MB emphasis]