Campaign for Merit in Business – C4MB – is run by the people who run J4MB, and is led by Mike Buchanan. Established in early 2012, it’s engaged with parliamentary inquiries, and the video of Mike giving evidence to a House of Commons inquiry – ‘Women in the Workplace’ – is here. C4MB has had exposure on national television and radio programmes, and Mike was interviewed on Daily Politics – video here. C4MB has been successful in halting the formerly popular narrative – employed by politicians in particular, including David Cameron and Vince Cable – which maintained that companies would become more profitable if they increased the proportion of women on their boards.
There’s considerable evidence – from longitudinal studies – which shows that when female representation on corporate boards is increased – for example through gender quotas, or the threat of them – corporate financial performance declines. This is believed to be primarily an inexperience effect, rather than a gender effect. C4MB’s short briefing paper on the matter has the full Abstracts of five longitudinal studies, and links to them.
The government continues to threaten legislated gender quotas if FTSE100 companies haven’t ‘voluntarily’ achieved 25% female representation on their boards by 2015. The FTSE100 is on track to reach the target, almost invariably through appointing poorly-qualified women as non-executive directors, the tactic which did so much damage to Norwegian companies. It’s known from public statements by politicians that the 25% target is ‘only a major milestone on a longer journey’ and smaller companies will in time be required to appoint more female directors. In the spring of 2014 it was revealed that the FTSE350 is next in the ‘firing line’, and that the longer-term goal is gender-balanced boards, regardless of the shortage of suitably qualified women.
C4MB believes merit should be the sole basis for recruitment and promotion in the workplace, in stark contrast to initiatives which seek ‘improved’ gender diversity in senior executive positions, including in boardrooms, regardless of individual women’s merit compared with their male peers, and regardless of impact on corporate financial performance. Those initiatives are an assault on meritocracy, they’re inspired and sustained by radical feminism – which has its roots in Marxism – yet they’re driven and largely financed by a Conservative government.