There have probably been others, but the more notable advocates for mandatory (code for legislated) gender quotas on public company boards have been people with no corporate or public company experience. These notable advocates are/were Joe Hockey (former Treasurer and current Ambassador to the US)and Chris Bowen (former Treasurer and current Shadow Treasurer), again, two persons with no corporate or public company experience. Notwithstanding, these two gentlemen were (Hockey) and will soon again (Bowen) be in the position to significantly impact the Australian economy and business.
Now results season for ASX listed companies is very near completion. There were some good results and some bad results, yet there were no suggestions that the good ones were good or the bad ones were bad because of the number of women on the boards of companies.
Similarly, with the allegation around breaches of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML-CTF) legislation by CBA, there was no suggestion that the what may or may not have happened had anything to do with gender diversity within the CBA executive team or on the CBA board.
In fact, the current Chairman of CBA is Catherine Livingstone, a woman. Ms Livingstone was also previously the Chairman of Telstra. There is no suggestion of her attaining her position(s) because of her gender. She is one of Australia’s best company directors and not one of Australia’s best female company directors.
To appoint people to boards solely because of their gender is an insult to them and their peers. To legislate to appoint people to boards solely because of their gender, or any other factor other than their ability, would be would be idiotic; which is probably why such ideas generally emanate from our political class.
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