We’ve published the minutes of previous meetings of this inquiry, and pointed out that every ’witness’ questioned by the committee has been in favour of more women on boards, whether through quotas or otherwise. All have been ideologically committed to the initiative, and most have been professionally engaged in it, most of them at the taxpayer’s expense. The peers themselves appear to have taken it as a given that having more women on boards is a ‘good thing’ in itself.
The latest and final taxpayer-funded advocate ’witness’ was the Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, who merited a whole session to herself at the start of last week. Be warned, the minutes make depressing reading, particularly around the area of correlation/causation between more women on boards, and enhanced corporate performance. To their credit, some of the peers were more challenging on this issue than on previous occasions, but faced with an avalanche of well-rehearsed gobbledegook from Jo Swinson, what hope did they have? Any reasonable person would surely have lost the will to live, listening to her nonsense.
We have very robust evidence showing that artificially increasing the number of women on boards leads to a decline in corporate performance. It’s unfortunate we weren’t called as witnesses to present this evidence to the House of Lords inquiry, to be questioned on it.