An intelligent feminist critique of quotas and ‘gender balance in the boardroom’

It’s looking increasingly likely that quotas won’t be introduced for women in British boardrooms, not because quotas would damage British business (although they inevitably would) but because a sufficient number of Toadies – notably many ‘captains of industry’ and senior figures in the CBI – have responded to David Cameron’s threat of quotas in the way the feminists wanted (and indeed predicted).

I thank Fred for pointing me towards an intelligent feminist critique (I can’t believe I’m using those three words together in that sequence) of quotas and ‘gender balance in the boardroom’. It’s titled, ‘Why Gender Quotas Are Bad for Business and for Feminism’. But here’s a nuance which is easily missed. If quotas don’t become mandatory the problem goes away, right? Er, no. Quotas can be self-enforced without legislation and that’s exactly what the 33 Toadies in the 30 percent club, mostly chairmen of major British corporations, the CBI etc. have long been working towards. Cameron himself will be relieved not to introduce quotas because he can then present himself as bearing no personal responsibility for the corporate decline which will inevitably follow ‘gender balance in the boardroom’. Can you imagine him being interviewed about all this some years into the future, after he’s exited from politics? I expect he’d say something like the following:

‘As you know, I never wanted to introduce quotas for women in the boardroom, and in the end we didn’t introduce them. The companies voluntarily introduced more women into their boardrooms. I agree many of those women – possibly most of them – wouldn’t have reached those boardrooms on the grounds of merit. I agree the business sector was gravely damaged as a result, and you have to ask yourself a difficult question. Why on earth did those companies do it?’

The link to the article:

An intelligent feminist critique… amazing. I should have a lie down in a dark quiet room until I recover my senses.


About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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