Positive discrimination for women at the Bank of England
My thanks to George for sending me an article from the Mail on Sunday issue of 10 June. It’s an interview by Lisa Buckingham of Catherine Brown, the Bank of England’s executive director of human resources. Brown is paid £200,000 a year, not bad for someone whose key aim in her working life appears to be social engineering. From the article:
When Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King prompted outraged headlines for taking his seat at Wimbledon and attending the cricket at Lord’s while the global economy faced meltdown, he was apparently doing only what all his staff are urged to do. Not necessarily in such esteemed surroundings, of course. But employees at the Bank of England from the Governor down are encouraged to work flexibly. Indeed, according to Catherine Brown, the Bank’s executive director of human resources, there are ‘no fixed hours’ at our premier City regulator.
‘We are output-focused – there are no set hours,’ she says, adding that this has been crucial to the Bank’s success in recruiting women and to keeping its staff turnover at an astonishingly low four per cent a year…
What does this say about the work ethic of (a) women, and (b) public sector employees? And these are the people who are going to regulate British business? From the same article:
Brown, 46, says: ‘…while the governors and directors are very largely white and male, that is a snapshot in time and in five years it may look very different.’ … this year the intake of women has shot up to 45 per cent…
A Tibetan Buddhist – she became interested in the faith after spending time trekking in the Himalayas – Brown says: ‘I do have a very strong commitment to ensuring that the values on which the global economy are based are decency and fairness. Emerging economies are better if they have these characteristics. The UK economy has these core values and the Bank has a clear role to play in that.
‘Decency and fairness’. Here we have yet again the use of terms (‘diversity’ is another) which seem reasonable but which are ALWAYS used to justify one thing – positive discrimination for women in recruitment and promotion terms, regardless of merit. We need have no doubt that pressures on companies to hire more female directors will increase. I’m reminded of a quotation from the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom (1962):
Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.
The Bank of England is paying Catherine Brown £200,000 a year to ‘thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society’. You couldn’t make it up.