A small but important victory for meritocracy

[Note added 30 June 2012: I regret I was mistaken in thinking there had been a victory for meritocracy. Theresa May, Home Secretary and MInister for Equality, had written to the EU to state the government’s opposition to EU-imposed quotas for women in the boardroom. I had naively assumed this to reflect the government’s official position but Comrade Cable, Business Secretary, has since repeated the threat of government-imposed quotas. He also said that if he were ever prime minister half his cabinet ministers would be women. The man’s a disgrace to a Conservative-led coalition and should be fired.]

Today’s papers bring welcome news of an important victory in the battle for meritocracy in British boardrooms. The government has made it known that it is to drop its threat to legislate for quotas for female directors in the boardroom. To what extent The Campaign for Merit in Business (‘CMB’) – details on my other blog http://c4mb.wordpress.com – can claim any credit for bringing about this decision, we have no way of knowing, because the government – feminist-friendly in its senior reaches, most notably David Cameron himself – refuses to engage with us. Probably a bigger factor is the belated recognition that only a small number of women (compared with men) have the experience and expertise necessary to contribute effectively as board directors, even at the ‘gravy train’ non-executive director level.

But the CMB remains the only organisation in the UK articulating the case for meritocracy in business, and campaigning against special treatment for identifiable groups (e.g. women) at the expense of other groups (e.g. men). We know from whistle-blowers that our messages are getting across, and the government was faced with the unappealing prospect of imposing quotas for women when it’s clear that this could only damage UK plc, at a time when the economy needs all the help it can get.

Senior business people (men and women) are increasingly accepting the validity of the arguments we’re putting forward. The CBI – as these people’s representatives – should be articulating the case for meritocracy in British boardrooms but as readers of this blog will know, the organisation has caved in to feminist thinking on the matter of gender diversity in the boardroom, despite being unable to offer a shred of evidence to support its claim that gender diversity can be expected to improve corporate performance.

With the withdrawal of the threat of quotas for women in the boardroom, is the battle won? Far from it. This is a small, albeit critical, victory in the war against ‘improved’ gender diversity in the senior levels of the corporate sector. The campaign to force more women onto boards is ideological in nature, and cannot therefore be defeated, only thwarted. One of the objectives of the CMB is to equip senior business people with the information and the resolve they require to thwart the manipulative women behind the campaign, along with their male collaborators, many of whom are ‘captains of industry’. Besides which, we have yet to see how the odious initiative spearheaded by EU Commissioner Viviane Reding will play out.

It’s presumably no coincidence of timing that the dropping of quotas was announced in parallel with the publication today of a study carried out for the ultra-left-wing Equality and Human Rights Commission (‘EHRC’). The report was drawn up by the Cranfield School of Management, which on gender matters reliably means The Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders (‘CICWL’), long-term campaigners for more women on boards. Regular readers of this blog will be aware that CICWL is among many campaigning bodies which have been unwilling (or, more realistically, unable) to provide evidence to back up their assertions of a positive causal relationship between more women on boards, and improved corporate performance. I called the CICWL to ask for the job title of the lady mentioned in the article below, Elena Doldor, and was told by the lady on the switchboard that she didn’t know her job title, but her personal title is ‘Ms.’ Quelle surprise. Women working in the field of ‘gender diversity’ often seem to be titled ‘Ms.’ A little clue there to their left-wing politics.

My thanks to Michael Klein of http://sciencefiles.org for supplying me with a PDF of the ‘study’ in question. Enjoy:

120528 Cranfield School of Management report for EHRC

With the EHRC being so left-wing, what better paper to draw upon for an article on this topic than the Guardian? Obviously my political convictions prevent me from buying the paper but I was able to copy down the following article from today’s edition at the library. It’s basically a rehashed ‘glass ceiling’ story, as usual:

MALE ELITE BARS WOMEN’S WAY TO TOP, SAYS STUDY

The ‘male-dominated corporate elite’ occupying the boardrooms of the UK’s biggest companies is deterring the appointment of women to the upper echelons of corporate Britain, the equalities watchdog warns today. The first in-depth study of recruitment of non-executive directors by headhunters, carried out by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, finds that the men who hold the majority of seats around the tables of the 350 biggest companies listed in London tend to select new members with similar characteristics to themselves…

“The often subjective way of making appointments ends up replicating existing boards rather than bringing in talented women who bring real benefits to individual company performance and ultimately help Britain’s economic recovery,” said Lady Prosser, deputy chair of the EHRC.

It is now more than a year since Lord Davies, the former banker and a Labour trade minister, set out targets for women to hold 25% of boardroom positions by 2015, and the government is preparing to tell European policymakers that it does not endorse proposals for mandatory quotas in boardrooms across Europe…

In January this year there were 143 women in non-executive director roles in the  FTSE100 and only 20, or 6.6%, in executive roles.

The report for the EHRC, by Cranfield School of Management, was based on academic literature and interviews with 10 headhunting firms in London which had signed up to a new code. Elena Doldor, author of the report, says that headhunters needed to do more to keep women in the running for boardroom positions…

The study shows that the appointment of board members is often driven by a “homogeneous elite group of individuals at the top of the FTSE100 companies”…

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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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7 Responses to A small but important victory for meritocracy

  1. Catherine, thanks for your comment. A few thoughts:

    1. Many writers have explained that the ‘gender pay gap’ is attributable to the choices freely made by men and women. I refer you to Steve Moxon’s ‘The Woman Racket’, Swayne O’Pie’s ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’, Warren Farrell’s ‘Why Men Earn More’ and my own ‘The Glass Ceiling Delusion’.

    2. Women have flooded into some traditionally male-dominated lines of work (e.g. medicine, veterinary science, psychology…) but not others (e.g. engineering). How does your argument address this? In contrast, female-dominates lines of work (e.g. nursing) NEVER become less female-dominated.

    3. I worked in executive positions from 1979-2010 and never once experienced male hostility towards female colleagues. On the contrary, men enjoyed women’s company and any discrimination by men towards women was always positive. The myth of male hostility is used by women as an excuse to opt out of senior executive positions, because they’re less comfortable than men with the stresses and strains which are an inevitable part of such positions..

    • Catherine says:

      I note that you use books that are written by men, who of course will be naturally biased. The best thing is to use case studies:

      Birmingham Metropolitan Council had several hundred female domestics (heavily female-dominated industry) claim against them because the few men that were employed were being paid more and had been so for some time. The women won, proving that male domestics are valued more ,by virtue of their higher wages, than female ones, despite females being experienced in this type of work more than males since we have much more practice in our domestic arrangements as well as in our jobs.

      The entire Higher education industry in the UK was called into question as regards equal pay when it was found that female lecturers were being paid much less than male lecturers. One of the arguments was that males tend to lecture in subjects such as science and engineering and females in social sciences and humanities, which is probably so but who says that subjects that teach us to teach and become good policymakers (useful when you are running a business as well as a country, I dare say) are any less valuable than those that teach us about the effects of gravity? My guess is that men say these are more valuable subjects so that ‘the old boy network’ gets paid more. Further more, if it is the case that the male-dominated subjects (the former) are more valuable, then why don’t students taking female-dominated subjects (the latter) get charged less to undertake the degree to reflect the lower value and the lower pay of the lecturers? Incidentally, the claim of receiving lower pay was also claimed by females in the male-dominated subjects, thus rendering the initial argument irrelevant and an absurd lie.

      I have also demonstrated in my prior email personal experiences of negative, male attitudes towards females in all industries.

      I am not denying that females and males often make different ‘types’ of leader with men being more money and targets-orientated and females being more people-orientated, generally speaking. This does not mean that females should be sought less than males for executive jobs as they both bring positive inputs. Also, why should a female heading a typically female-dominated service (such as a voluntary organisation or care service) be paid less than a man who heads a typically male-dominated service (such as a car repair garage or an accountancy firm)? They are both required in society.

      Female work has always been undervalued by society. For example:

      If a man were to pay his wife the market rate for nannying and domestic services, most men would not be able to afford a wife -this has been examined by labour unions and is fact.

      Since women have come out of domestic drudgery (where they were very undervalued by society and almost viewed with contempt, and still are), the social care bill has rocketed in the UK for childcare subsidies and care for the sick, disabled and elderly. It was estimated, by American labour unions, that in boomtime America, had all women abandoned their unpaid work (whether through official voluntary organisations or in domestic life) and the bill for paid replacements had been picked up by the government, the entire American economy would have collapsed overnight. If men had abandoned their unpaid work, the economy would not have felt as much as a tremor.

      Given the above, why are feminity (nurturing, caring, sociable) and women’s traditional roles the subject of so much scorn and devaluation? It is because society favours the masculine (brutal, selfish, singly-driven, domineering) and traditional male roles and, unless a woman can prove she has masculine characteristics, which many don’t, then they will be forced into traditional feminine roles that carry much less subjective value in society.

      As an aside, I wonder if the world was turned on it’s head a little and science and engineering roles became female-dominated and social care roles became male-dominated whether we would see a reversal in what roles society values and thus what roles it is willing to pay more for. I rather think we would!

      • Catherine, thank you. Let metake each of your points in turn.

        “I note that you use books that are written by men, who of course will be naturally biased.”

        Not only wrong, but also sexist. Would WOMEN be ‘naturally biased’? Among the many female authors I ciite in my books are:

        – Christina Hoff Sommers ‘Who Stole Feminism?’
        – Prof Louann Brizendine ‘The Female Brain’
        – Prof Susan Pinker ‘The Sexual Paradox’
        – Anne Moir ‘Why Men Don’t Iron’

        “Birmingham Metropolitan Council had several hundred female domestics (heavily female-dominated industry)…”

        I’m not familiar with this case but the idea that women are discriminated against in pay terms has been utterly discredited, most recently by Swayne O’Pie in ‘Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism’. Women tend to gravitate towards certain lines of work do the laws of supply and demand mean they’ll be paid less.

        “The entire Higher education industry in the UK was called into question as regards equal pay when it was found that female lecturers were being paid much less than male lecturers…”.

        Female academics are markedly less productive than their male peers, and again supply and demand comes into play.

        “…why should a female heading a typically female-dominated service (such as a voluntary organisation or care service) be paid less than a man who heads a typically male-dominated service (such as a car repair garage or an accountancy firm)?”

        Supply and demand again. The alternative is socialisn which has never worked as an economic system, anywhere, at any time.

        “Since women have come out of domestic drudgery (where they were very undervalued by society and almost viewed with contempt, and still are)…”

        The only people who view housewives / stay-at-home mothers with contempt are, in my experience, feminists.

        “Given the above, why are feminity (nurturing, caring, sociable) and women’s traditional roles the subject of so much scorn and devaluation?”

        I refer you to my last answer.

        Have a nice day.

      • Catherine says:

        Please can I have reliable sources that state that female academics are less productive than their male counterparts? If productivity were an issue, then women working in factories and offices should have always have been paid more than men because women have been shows to be more dextrous than men. However, this has not been the case. A colleague of mine recalled how she met her husband in a car-making factory – he was making double the wage that she was and it was well-known that this was because the bosses saw their male workers as main breadwinners and the females as earning pin money.

        Are you saying that care services are required less than garages and accountants? I think not, especially with an ageing population.

        Yes, there are feminists who scorn and deride housewives and oftentimes (by myself included) those feminists are derided and scorned in their turn by more enlightened, free-thinking feminists such as myself. From personal experience, women’s traditional roles have been undervalued by male-run governments and male society. Even when I was a youngster during the late 70s and early 80s, I remember the men in the neighbourhood were regularly quite abusive towards their economically-dependent wives and / or they thought it was their right to philander – this was because women had no way of supporting themselves and their, often numerous (in working-class districts), children and could not have left them even if they had wanted to.

        If women were valued properly for their traditional roles in the first place and shown respect for them, then why did so many women go to so much trouble to escape these roles through the feminist revolution? Indeed, why did the feminist revolution happen in the first place? People don’t go to these lengths if they are happy with their lot. There is usually a strong impetus to start revolting.

      • Thanks Catherine. I’ll track down the male v female academic productivity issue, and post it here. Although I know what will happen then. You’ll say that male academics may produce a higher QUANTITY of papers, but female academics produce higher QUALITY papers.

        An odd shift from productivity onto dexterity. Dexterity is only one factor in productivity, and not a factor in knowledge-based lines of work. It also has nothing to do with the issue of gender diversity in the boardroom and in senior executive roles generally, which I explore on http://c4mb.wordpress.com.

        Of course I’m not saying care services are required less than garages and accountants. But far more women want to work in care services than in garages or accountancy, so we return again to that old favourite, supply and demand.

        Are you aware that when data is produced by feminist ‘academics’ about the pay of full-time men and women, ‘full-time’ means under 30 hours on average for women, and almost 50 hours for men? I recommend Swayne O’Pie’s book again. Under £8,00 on Kindle – ‘Exposing Feminism: The Hundred Years’ War Against Men’.

        You’re very selective in the lines of work you refer to. Why are 97% of work-related deaths those of men? Because women don’t want dangerous jobs, or jobs that take them away from friends and family for long spells. They’ve flooded into medicine thanks to positive discrimination, and the GP service is in crisis as a result. More female than male GPs abandon their careers, refuse to work at weekends or evenings, and want to work part-time (regardless of whether they have kids or not). So the taxpayer has to finance yet more women to take medical degrees, and end up wth an increasingly poor GP service.

        I can scarcely believe you mention domestic violence. Feminist lies and misrepresentation of domestic violence statistics have long been discredited. Male on female partner violence is no more common than female on male DV. It’s been described as one of the most robust findings in the social sciences. Please email me directly on mikebuchanan@hotmail.co.uk and I’ll point you to the evidence. Erin Pizzey’s been exposing the truth in this area for 40 years.

        Why did so many women go to so much trouble to escape traditional roles through the feminist revolution? Maybe because they thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence? They’ve discovered the hard way that they were wrong, but they’re too proud to admit it. I know few woman in full-time employment who wouldn’t exchange it for part-time employment or even no employment. I know of no study showing women in the developed world are happier as a result of taking on full-time employment in great numbers. Most studies show women are LESS happy with their lives than they were in the past. What has the ‘feminist revolution’ given women? Happiness for a few, and unhappiness for most. And it’s been a disaster for marriage and the family.

        Finally, I’m working on a new book, and the publication date is looming, so I must limit the time I spend on these exchanges. You’ll find my arguments in my books, I can’t afford to take much time out of my schedule to type them out again.

        Have a nice day.

      • Catherine, in response to your query about the differences in productivity of male and female academics, I refer you to pages 4 and 5 of the following:

        http://www.ucl.ac.uk/opticon1826/archive/issue4/Art_ENG_Sewell_Gender_Equality_Pub.pdf

        On pages 2 and 3 there’s some interesting material on gender-typical brain differences.

  2. Catherine says:

    I find it amusing that you think that discrimination against women does not exist given the claims to unequal pay that women have won over the years. Perhaps one of the reasons that I never went into engineering (or something of the sort), despite being a female and having (at the age of 13) earned myself a place in a national competition for technology, is because whenever I have excelled in a male-dominated school subject (notably CDT), I have been mercilessly bullied (sometimes physically) by boys who were usually ok. They obviously did not like the praise I was receiving from the teacher for my innovative designs. Later, I went into warehousing and was told in no uncertain terms by the male boss that we “ladies” had to accept that we were working in a male-dominated environment (it was about 60/40 in favour of males) and the men could have pornographic pictures up in the staff room if they so wished – desperate for a job during a recession, of course us “ladies” had to capitulate to these rules. If this is not enough to put women off taking these jobs, then I don’t know what is. Men would not put up with pictures of naked men in their staff room or women physically bullying them because they were in our needlework class, so I don’t see why we should have to put up with it. This is why female execs leave posts because of male hostility and also because in our domestic lives it is still down to us to clean the home and feed the family et etc because our lazy-assed male partners won’t. As always, it is women who are left to pick up the slack in the mundane world whilst men forge ahead in business and enterprise, safe in the knowledge that little wifey will soon get sick of the mess at home and just clean up after both of them anyway.

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