I’ve just awarded Toadies to two senior people at the CBI.
John Cridland, Director-General:
Neil Carberry, Director for Employment and Skills:
You may recall from an earlier post that the CBI published an odious report in December 2010, ‘Room at the Top: improving gender diversity on UK corporate boards’. Of the 14 signatories to the report 9 were women, and the 5 men (all ‘captains of industry’) were already on record before the report’s publication as supporters of ‘improved’ gender diversity on boards: in plain English, more women. The report refers to the ‘pipeline issue’, a militant feminist analysis (up there with the ‘glass ceiling’) of why there are few women in boardrooms. A non-feminist analysis (i.e. an intelligent one) offers a simpler conclusion: there is no ‘problem’ because men with the experience and ambition to sit on major corporate boards far outnumber the women with them. They always have and always will, so long as appointments are made on the basis of merit. The truth of this analysis is borne out by the fact that the forthcoming influx of women into British boardrooms will mainly be Non-Executive Directors. ‘Gender diversity in the boardroom’ is nothing less than an initiative to push ambitious women lacking the necessary experience and expertise into boardrooms. In short, a gravy train for feminists. Corporate performance will inevitably suffer as it did in Norway (see earlier post).
The CBI claims that the ‘Room at the Top’ report is representative of the views of its members, but I disagree. Most of the senior business people I know are hostile to the government’s and the CBI’s initiative to ‘improve’ diversity (gender and otherwise) in the boardroom. On 14 February I challenged John Cridland to work with me on arranging independent polling of CBI members on the matter (my earlier post refers). He has yet to respond to my challenge (last update 26 March).