Campaign for Merit in Business – let’s get political

[Updated 28 February 2013]

The Electoral Commission has just registered our political party, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). More on this later in this post.

Campaign for Merit in Business, which was launched early in 2012, has made a remarkable impact in a relatively short time. We’ve proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the ‘glass ceiling’ is a baseless conspiracy theory. Through exposing as fantasies, lies, delusions and myths, the arguments which said that increasing gender diversity in the boardroom (‘GDITB’) will improve corporate financial performance, we’ve destroyed the long-vaunted ‘business case’ for GDITB. We continue to publicise five longitudinal studies, all of which show that GDITB leads to declines in corporate financial performance. What else would we expect when businesses aren’t free to select the best people for their boards, regardless of gender? Proponents are left with little other than misrepresenting correlation as causation in pursuit of their social engineering programmes.

The Conservative-led coalition no longer challenges our assertion that the impact of GDITB on UK plc will inevitably be a negative one. And yet it continues to actively pursue GDITB. DBIS continues to refuse to have a minister meet with us. What might explain this extraordinary state of affairs? We believe there are a number of strands in the answer:

1. David Cameron has an exaggerated fear of the ‘women’s vote’. He showed his feminist-friendly credentials soon after coming to power in 2010 by appointing the Labour peer Lord Davies of Abersoch to report not on whether to give effect to GDITB, but on how to do so. Indeed he showed those credentials in the autumn of 2009, when he announced he was setting up some all-women prospective parliamentary candidate (‘PPC’) shortlists. I’d once worked for the party at their London HQ (2006-8) but resigned my party membership in the autumn of 2009 when David Cameron announced his willingness to introduce all-women PPC shortlists for the forthcoming general election. I was later informed, by a senior officer in the party, that I was far from alone in having done so.

2. The leading minister at DBIS, the Lib Dem MP Vince Cable, holds extreme left-wing views, and is on record as saying that if he were Prime Minister, 50% of his cabinet would be women. He has publicly used – in his speeches and writings – utterly discredited research ‘evidence’ in support of GDITB.

3. The CBI, which should be defending its members’ rights to appoint directors as they see fit, is a part of the problem. For some years it’s actively promoted GDITB. Its current President, Sir Roger Carr (chairman of Centrica) is on record as stating that while he doesn’t personally believe GDITB improves corporate financial performance, he thinks it improves meeting ‘atmospherics’.

4. GDITB is being pursued vigorously because FTSE100 companies are under threat of legislated quotas (Davies Report – 2011) if they don’t ‘voluntarily’ achieve 25% female representation on their boards by 2015. This has resulted in a more than fourfold increase in FTSE100 female director appointments, from 12% of new appointments before the quotas threat (2010) to 55% (2012). Virtually all of the new female appointments have been as NEDs, an indicator of how shallow the available pool of qualified women is compared with the available pool of qualified men.

5. For some years government inquiries into such matters, while seeming to be open, have been deeply flawed. The most obvious recent example was the 2012 House of Lords inquiry into ‘Women on Boards’ which heard only from witnesses in support of GDITB. Many were professionally involved in the initiative. The level of witness challenging by the peers, including the Conservatives, was embarrassing to watch. In our written evidence to the inquiry we included details of four longitudinal studies which show that GDITB harms corporate performance. The final inquiry report explicitly rejected the idea that GDITB can lead to declines in corporate performance, without explaining why. We wrote to the inquiry’s chairwoman, Conservative peer Baroness O’Cathain, asking for an explanation, and didn’t receive one.

6. The House of Commons inquiry into ‘Women in the Workplace’, to which we gave oral evidence, is still ongoing, and we’re hopeful of more attention being given to our evidence than was the case with the House of Lords inquiry. But virtually all the witnesses before this inquiry, as with the House of Lords inquiry, have been pro-GDITB. We’ve made formal complaints about the misleading testimonies of a number of ‘witnesses’, one of whom amended her evidence as a result.

[New entry, 22 July 2013: The report of a House of Commons inquiry – ‘Women in the Workplace’ – was outrageous in its curt dismissal of our evidence base and arguments, and those of the renowned sociologist Catherine Hakim. The committee blindly accepted feminist arguments in relation to the genders in the workplace, while traditional Conservative perspectives on issues such as meritocracy were nowhere to be seen. Our critique of the report is here.]

The area of GDITB is but one of many areas in which governments actively discriminate for women and against men, because they’re fearful of the potential impact of ‘women’s votes’. Let’s consider just one example of that discrimination. Two-thirds of public sector workers are women, and the Equality Act (2010) effectively enables public sector bodies to discriminate on the grounds of gender in terms of recruitment and promotion, where one gender is ‘under-represented’. In practise only women in the sector are using the legislation, and only to advance women. Positive discrimination on gender grounds is illegal, so the government terms the phenomenon ‘positive action’. It amounts to exactly the same thing in practice.

Men have signally failed to co-operate effectively to defend ‘men’s human rights’ over many years, but this is changing. Politicians of all parties have left us with no choice. We’ve taken the only logical step. We’ve formed a political party to challenge the government in numerous policy areas – including GDITB – where there’s relentless special treatment for women at the expense of men. I shall lead the party.

On 30 December the leading broadcaster and Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts exclusively revealed our intention to launch the party.

The name of the party was revealed in an article published by the world’s most-visited and influential men’s human rights advocacy website, A Voice for Men.

If you believe in this cause, then please support us by making a donation or possibly by making a contribution in other ways. A qualified accountant has taken care of finances both before and since the party’s establishment. 100% of donations will be used to finance our campaigning work. Nobody associated with this campaign or our party derives any personal income from donations. Thank you for your interest in our work.

Mike Buchanan

mike@j4mb.org.uk

07967 026163

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Baroness Karren Brady interviews Mike Buchanan about the gender pay gap

 Karren Brady with men's rights activist Mike Buchanan

I was recently interviewed by Karren Brady for her hour-long Channel 5 TV documentary, “Why do men earn more than women?” It was broadcast last night, and judging by the adverts before and during the programme, the target audience was predominantly women.

Karen and I had a filmed discussion of about two hours. Very little of the explanations I presented her with concerning gender pay gaps made it into the final documentary – not William Collins’s analysis, not Dr Catherine Hakim’s Preference Theory, published in 2000 – four out of seven British men are work-centred, but only one out of seven British women is. I presented the evidence of a causal link between increasing gender diversity on corporate boards, and financial decline, she ignored it and instead alluded to a 2016 Credit Suisse report which she believed showed a causal link with improved profitability, but didn’t.

The documentary is here, our discussion is between 26:57 – 30:33.

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Is this the first admission in the mainstream media, that increasing the proportion of women on corporate boards leads to financial decline?

Followers of this website will need no reminding of the causal link between increasing the proportion of women on corporate boards, and consequent financial DECLINE. The evidence for the link is here. I presented it to House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries in 2012, the video (56:50) of the latter session is here.

Long story short? There is NO business case to appoint more women to corporate boards – and, by extension, to senior positions generally.

In the six years since those inquiries, I have tried but failed to get the mainstream media to report on the story. Attempts to engage with politicians in order to end government threats of legislated gender quotas have proved futile. The threats started with The Davies Report, an outrageous report whose author was a Labour peer. Commissioning that report was one of the first acts of David Cameron after becoming became prime minister. The report’s remit was not whether there should be more women on corporate boards, but rather how the government could use its power to make that a reality.

The threats of legislated gender quotas remain, and has moved on from FTSE100 to FTSE350 companies, the government’s goal being gender parity on FTSE350 boards in the next few years. Directors of major companies, along with the CBI and the Institute of Directors, have shown no interest in the issue. Some years ago a collective madness descended on the business community – gynocentrism.

I don’t often buy The Daily Telegraph, but did so today, and was both surprised and delighted to read a piece by Sophie Jarvis, programmes director at The Entrepreneurs Network thinktank, Women won’t appreciate a patronising BBC quota. It’s a Premium article, and you can read one such article a week if you’re a non-subscriber (registration is free). The key words:

Outside the media, where gender quotas have been tried they have backfired. Norway introduced a 40 per cent quota for female directors in 2003. Later research found that the quota led to the employment of inexperienced women who ended up making bad decisions, leading to lower profitability at the companies themselves. [J4MB emphasis]

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Meet Luo Mingxiong, the Chinese investor who says female bosses are bad for business

Followers of this website will need no reminding that we’ve been explaining since 2012 that strong evidence exists – here – demonstrating a causal link between increasing gender diversity on boards, and corporate financial DECLINE. While proponents of ‘more women on boards’ continue to misrepresent correlation (between increasing gender diversity on boards, and corporate financial improvement) as causation, any 16-year-old studying Mathematics at GCSE level should be aware that correlation isn’t the same as causation, and doesn’t even imply it.

Professor Susan Vinnicombe of Cranfield University has been for many years the world’s leading academic proponent for ‘more women on boards’. In 2012 she admitted to a House of Lords inquiry that she knew of no evidence of a causal link between increasing gender diversity on boards, and improved corporate financial performance – here.

Our thanks to James for alerting us to an article about a Chinese investor based in Beijing, Luo Mingxiong. The start of the piece:

After days in the spotlight for saying female CEOs are bad for business, Luo Mingxiong, a Chinese investor in Beijing, does not regret what he said.

“If I could have had a chance to say it again, I would still list this as my investment principle,” said Luo. He was referring to his statement at a public presentation in Beijing this month that “we usually don’t invest in female chief executive officers”.

Luo, the founder of Beijing venture capital firm Jingbei Investment, sparked a public outcry in China as he listed female CEOs in his 10 no-investment principles, suggesting that in the corporate world, they are as negative an attribute as dishonesty or an inability to learn.

Embedded in the article is a link to an article by a female journalist, Enoch Yiu, and published in 2016 in the South China Morning Post. It’s titled, Female CEOs, board members improve company returns, says Credit Suisse study. She is misrepresenting correlation as causation. The 52-page-long 2016 Credit Suisse study is here. The bottom line? At no point does the report claim a causal link between increased gender diversity on boards, and improved corporate financial performance.

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Church investors vow to boost women in the boardroom (a tip of the hat to GWF Hegel)

The Right Rev Libby Lane, second left, was the first female bishop to be consecrated by the Church of England in 2015; there are now 12 women bishops

Times caption: The Right Rev Libby Lane, second left, was the first female bishop to be consecrated by the Church of England in 2015; there are now 12 women bishops

At the conference in July, The Rev Jules Gomes’s talk title will be, “Singing in the ruins: How feminists have destroyed the Church of England beyond repair”. Having destroyed the CofE, feminists are now progressing to force major companies to appoint female directors they don’t want, let alone need. A piece by Kaya Burgess, Religious Affairs Correspondent, in yesterday’s Times, emphases ours:

Big companies will be held to ransom over the gender divide in their boardrooms after a powerful group of church investors with £17 billion in assets vowed to vote out directors at firms with too few women at the top.

Pressure on FTSE 350 firms to improve the representation of women in top roles will come from the Church Investors Group (CIG), even though many of its members come from institutions such as the Catholic church, which does not allow women to become priests, let alone bishops or archbishops.

The group, which also counts the Church of England’s investment arm and pensions board, and the Scottish Episcopal and Methodist churches among its members, will also take a hard line on excessive pension deals for chief executives and on climate change, it has warned.

The CIG has said it will vote against the re-election of the nomination committee chairman at any company where less than a third of the board is made up of women. If less than a quarter of the board are women, the group will vote against all directors on the nomination committee.

The Church of England currently has 111 serving bishops, of whom just 12 are women, or less than 11 per cent. The Scottish Episcopal Church has only just appointed the first female bishop in its history.

The group has said it will “encourage other shareholders to hold directors to account and refuse to re-elect directors where the company is out of line with best practice”.

Stephen Beer, chief investment officer at the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, said the investment group had “ratcheted up its efforts” on gender diversity and said: “Our new policy will enable us to send a clear signal to companies that we expect them to consider fairness when setting executive pay levels. We encourage the wider investment community to hold directors accountable and ensure more responsible stewardship on this critical subject.”

He added, however, that different Christian denominations take different approaches to gender equality within their own institutions for theological reasons.

The investment group will also hold companies to account over executive pay and action on climate page. Members of the CIG will not support renumeration (sic) reports where chief executives receive “excessive” pensions worth more than 30 per cent of their salary, or where firms fail to reveal the pay ratio between the highest and lowest earners.

Financial and pharmaceutical companies that fail to pay the living wage will also not receive backing from the group, while the investors will also vote against the re-election of board chairmen if the company is making too little progress towards “a low carbon world”.

The Rev Canon Edward Carter, chairman of the CIG, said: “If [directors] are not doing something about fairness and about the risks facing us today, they are part of the problem and risk losing the confidence of the public and ultimately their licence to operate.”

In the comments stream, from Hilary Manser:

Shrewd move. It’s been found that companies who have more women on the board tend to do better at business. So the church will do better with the return on its investments and give an appearance of being socially conscious at the same time. This despite its own abysmal record on female equality

A response to those comments, from GWF Hegel:

@Hilary Manser There’s NO evidence that companies who have more women on the board do better at business.  Rather the opposite, in fact.  The evidence that increasing gender diversity on corporate boards leads to a decline in performance is here: https://c4mb.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/121113-v4-the-five-studies-showing-that-increasing-female-representation-on-boards-leads-to-a-decline-in-corporate-performance.pdf. [J4MB: this is a brief paper published by our allied organization Campaign for Merit in Business in 2012.]

The studies are longitudinal, so they can demonstrate causality, not correlation.

The Church of England is trying to terrorise companies into making appointments on blatant gynocentrism.  What a horrendous society we are becoming.

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August Lovenskiolds: Do men make better CEOs than women?

Another excellent piece from the august August. Our thanks to AVfM for the image above, taken from the piece. An excerpt:

15 of the 20 men still held their titles after 5 years, compared to just 10 of the 20 women.

8 of the men improved the ranking of their companies, compared to 0 of the women.

Final result: Men at plus 451 were 994 ranks higher than comparable women CEOs, who scored minus 443. This was not just a slaughter of women CEOs, this was Bambi meets Godzilla.

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August Lovenskiolds: ‘Women hate being CEOs – and they suck at it’

A tip of the hat to August Lovenskiolds for his illuminating analysis. The bottom line:

In 2012, 20 S&P 500 companies had female CEOs.

By 2017, 10 of the women were no longer CEOs.

By 2017, all the female CEO’s companies had fallen in the S&P rankings.

If everyone who read this gave us just £1 – or even better, £1 monthly – we could change the world. Click here to make a difference. Thanks.

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White men ‘endangered species’ in top business roles as women promoted to senior positions – Tesco chairman

Our thanks to Sean for this. Extracts:

Speaking at the Retail Week Live conference on Thursday, he (John Allan, Tesco chairman) said: “If you are female and from an ethnic background and preferably both then you are in an extremely propitious period.

“For a thousand years men have got most of these jobs, the pendulum has swung very significantly the other way now and will do for the foreseeable future I think.

“If you are a white male – tough – you are an endangered species and you are going to have to work twice as hard.”

These days I’m embarrassed to admit I spent my 30-year career as a business executive, such is the idiocy and complicity of the senior executives in FTSE350 companies and elsewhere who’ve enthusiastically embraced feminist demands for more women on boards.

Regular followers of this blog will surely need no reminding of the evidence (five longitudinal studies) compiled in 2012 by Campaign for Merit in Business demonstrating a clear causal link between increasing female representation on boards, and corporate financial decline. That evidence has never been challenged by proponents of ‘more women on boards’.

If everyone who read this gave us just £1 – or even better, £1 monthly – we could change the world. Click here to make a difference. Thanks.

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