Gender quotas on corporate boards

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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27 Responses to Gender quotas on corporate boards

  1. Robert Mc

    She is one of Australia’s best company directors

    Given the extent of the money laundering fiasco that has unfolded at CBA on her watch as Chairman, I would not have accorded her that accolade.

  2. miltonf

    The political class is trying to crash the economy.

  3. I am Spartacus

    She is one of Australia’s best company directors

    Given the extent of the money laundering fiasco that has unfolded at CBA on her watch as Chairman, I would not have accorded her that accolade.

    1 – these are still allegations
    2 – what is alleged to have occurred occurred before she joined the board let alone became chairman. read yesterday’s AFR Chanticleer for more “colour”

  4. True Aussie

    what is alleged to have occurred occurred before she joined the board let alone became chairman. read yesterday’s AFR Chanticleer for more “colour”

    So you are saying she wasn’t director of CBA when the braindead idea of allowing unlimited cash deposits at unmanned ATMs was proposed?

  5. True Aussie

    I meant chairman, not director.

  6. True Aussie

    I like companies with women at the helm, they are a good bet to short.

  7. Robber Baron

    There are no transgendered humans on public company boards. The Government must legislate to rectify this obvious discrimination.

  8. Muddy

    Speaking of quotas, whatever happened to Token?

  9. Andrew

    Given the extent of the money laundering fiasco that has unfolded at CBA on her watch as Chairman, I would not have accorded her that accolade.

    1) Would a man have been described in those terms while the company faced a $900bn fine for money laundering and aiding terrorism?
    2) I have seen 94835732 articles calling for the (male) CEO to be sacked or resign in disgrace. I’m yet to see one such demand of the female Chair.

  10. MACK

    Women have made up about half of all graduates since the 1970s. If they’re unhappy with the current arrangements, they just need to set up their own businesses and professional practices and outgun the men.
    And if quotas are legislated, that will release onto the market a whole lot of competent men discriminated against because of their gender. This is an opportunity for smart employers. Just make them contractors.

  11. egg_

    Women have made up about half of all graduates since the 1970s. If they’re unhappy with the current arrangements, they just need to set up their own businesses and professional practices and outgun the men.

    Rather than b1tching about men and glass ceilings – that exclude a lot of (good) men, too.

  12. mareeS

    A workplace with gender quota would nix it for me.

    I am a female who actually prefers to work with men, because they are generally sensible and focussed on outcomes. Female workplaces are something else. The ones I have worked in are places of personality disorders, seriously mad women who cannot order themselves.

    Public service women and Human Resources women need to be sent to a quiet compound. They are nuts.

  13. Helen

    I don’t think women should get positions just because they are women, but then I also don’t think men should get positions just because they are men. When men and a women of equal skills and experience compete for positions, the result should average out at 50:50. But that’s never been the case. There have plenty of experiments done where exactly the same resume with a male name will get the job, but with a female name won’t. And my experience is that this happens in real life.
    My idea of affirmative action is that job application assessments should be blind, with no indication of gender on the application. I realise that would be hard at senior levels where there is a smaller pool and applicants are personally known. But if it became the practice at junior levels it would create a bigger pool of women who would get a chance to demonstrate their ability and later be available for senior jobs.
    Another option is where both a male and female candidate for a job are evenly matched, then the woman should get the priority until there’s a reasonable even balance in the organisation.
    And yes, when a woman stuffs up in a senior position, she should be treated in exactly the same way as when a man stuffs up.

  14. 2dogs

    What annoys me on this issue is this.

    Super funds have an obligation to act on behalf of their members, not pursue their own agenda. If particular super fund members like this policy, by all means vote the shares in their specific interests as those members wish.

    But public super funds should not be voting on their shares otherwise than in accordance with instructions from their members.

  15. Robert Mc

    what is alleged to have occurred occurred before she joined the board let alone became chairman.

    Livingstone, who reportedly has a special interest in new technology, joined the CBA Board in March 2016 as a non-executive Director and has been Chairman since January 2017. The Board and the banks senior executives had been sitting on this fiasco ever since it occurred, no doubt hoping they had dodged a bullet. Even after the proverbial recently hit the fan, she and the other Board members tried to gloss it over with bonus reductions for themselves and the senior executives, when they should have sacked those senior executives and then resigned their own positions.

  16. “To appoint people to boards solely because of their gender is an insult to them and their peers.”

    And the shareholders.

  17. John Constantine

    Putting the company secretary on the board has given a lot of small companies one quota position.

    Mining/oil and gas/agriculture doesn’t interest left wing wymynsys, except in how to control and shut it down.

    The push to put social science graduates into management of resource companies is simply to progress the totalitarian agenda and focus resource companies upon social engineering services rather than resource extraction.

    Compare annual reports now with those issued before the two towers went down. It takes up most of the report to describe how the company is complying with the requirements to focus on the Will of Stalin, then they can mention the business they are trying to run.

    Listening to leftie wymynsys activists gloating how they use board positions to occupy the company with compliant Stalinist functionaries is an eye opener.

    The occupation of agricultural representative bodies by Stalinists, and the deploying of agricultural levies for progressive social engineering couldn’t have happened without fifty percent quotas.

    The transformation of the National party from agrarian socialism towards progressive socialism is an example of the complete success of the fifty percent activist wymynsys hiring policies.

    Local councils have walked away from civil engineering towards social engineering as the fifty percent wymynsys activist quotas have been hit, as this is the area of interest that magnetises the activists.

    Look at the big banks and bhp for the future of Australian business under the new system.

    Suck up to big government and big unions to crush your competition, and the big companies progress socialism as crony bribes in kind to pay for the protection.

  18. Greg

    Would love to see a correlation done on the % increase in profit vs % women on board.

  19. cynical1

    “I don’t think women should get positions just because they are women, but then I also don’t think men should get positions just because they are men. When men and a women of equal skills and experience compete for positions, the result should average out at 50:50. But that’s never been the case”.

    Probably because men historically were the breadwinners.

    They didn’t leave to start a family.

    But don’t let logic keep the women down.

  20. Pingback: Gender quotas on corporate boards | Catallaxy Files | Cranky Old Crow

  21. I am a female who actually prefers to work with men, because they are generally sensible and focussed on outcomes. Female workplaces are something else. The ones I have worked in are places of personality disorders, seriously mad women who cannot order themselves.

    Public service women and Human Resources women need to be sent to a quiet compound. They are nuts.

    Totally agree, mareeS. been there, done that. Mind you, some of the PS “guys” could be bitches too.

  22. Yohan

    Australian banks are essentially public utilities with a public purse funded backstop, and regulatory monopoly keeping out competition. Being a female Chairman or executive of an Australian bank does not count as a real measure of success.

  23. James Hargrave

    HR attracts ambulant personality disorders with a basic dislike of humans (no doubt they treat their dogs better). But let us have proper quotas – for innumerate accountants, dyslexic book-shelvers, etc., etc. One for competent politicians wouldn’t come amiss either.

  24. Tel

    Being a female Chairman or executive of an Australian bank does not count as a real measure of success.

    I see it as equivalent to a high level public service job… with a strong Public Relations component included.

    Still a job where you want a competent person, but preferably not a job for an entrepreneur.

  25. flyingduk

    why stop at something so broad as male/female quotas when we can subdivide the workforce so many degrees finer: for true equality we need quotas for women, gays, blacks, disabled, ugly, dumb, lazy, QWERTY, young, middle aged, upper middle aged etc etc etc: At the end of the day you can subdivide down to the individual worker, which is of course what we used to do when we had a free market and no govt meddling.

  26. Yohan

    I see it as equivalent to a high level public service job… with a strong Public Relations component included.

    Still a job where you want a competent person, but preferably not a job for an entrepreneur.

    That’s a good comparison. And yes the PR component is a huge part of their job, probably why women would be better suited for it that some personality-lite CEO type.

  27. Mr Black

    Women are good at managing things. Build it up, staff it, put procedures in place and female management can keep it going as well as male, give or take. But they are just terrible at leadership and innovation. Those things are not compatible with the way women are configured to work and the exceptions merely serve to prove the rule. They are few and far between. This is the reason why women demand white collar jobs at existing companies, they are simply unable to create such jobs or companies themselves. Let businesses employ who they want and they can live or die by their choices. If women provide such amazing value to a business then surely everyone will stack the board with them.

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