Regular visitors to this blog will be aware that we’ve emailed Viviane Reding, an EC Commissioner and the prime mover behind the EC’s drive to introduce legislation to force companies to have minimum female representation on their boards, seeking evidence of a positive link with enhanced corporate performance. Given that no such evidence exists, we shouldn’t be too surprised that she hasn’t responded. But nothing, it seems, will stop her promoting this nonsensical claim to further her ideological aims. The British press has reported that her proposal to enforce EU-level quotas are unlikely to succeed, given the opposition of many EU countries. Even the DBIS, with Vince Cable at its head, is against EU-imposed quotas. But in her customary undemocratic way, Ms Reding rolls on.
My thanks to our Research Director, Michael Klein, for pointing me towards some interesting material. The first is a press release:
We see from this document that next Tuesday, 23 October, the following will be put forward:
Tuesday 23 October: Boosting gender balance on corporate boards
The Commission will present a legal instrument aimed at increasing gender balance on company boards in the EU.
Across the EU, company boards are currently dominated by one gender: 86.5% of board members are men while women represent just 13.5% (8.9% of executive members and 15% of non-executive members). 97.5% of the chairpersons are men and only 2.5% are women.
Promoting more equality in decision-making is one of the goals in the Women’s Charter (see IP/10/237), which was initiated by President José Manuel Barroso and Vice-President Reding in March 2010. The Commission then followed these commitments by adopting a Gender Equality Strategy in September 2010 for the next five years (see IP/10/1149 and MEMO/10/430), which includes exploring targeted initiatives to get more women into top jobs in economic decision-making.
Vice-President Viviane Reding will give a press conference in Strasbourg. Details to be announced.
In late November Ms Reding and her colleagues will be attending a two-day summit in Cyprus. Presumably all the meeting rooms in Brussels were already booked. The summit is titled, ‘Promoting Equality for Growth’:
The document about the event remarkably doesn’t contain the words ‘gender’ or ‘women’. Let’s focus on the first session on the second day:
Friday 23 November – Economic case and benefits of anti-discrimination policies and diversity strategies for governments, businesses and persons
09:00 – 10:30 Plenary Session 3 – Business case for diversity
Objective: Diversity policies in companies make good business sense. This session will illustrate this fact with examples of companies adopting successfully diversity strategies generating more productivity, creativeness and innovation, and/or broadening the customer base.
Hmm… it’s apparently a fact that, ‘Diversity policies in companies make good business sense.’ No mention of more profitability, you might have noticed. Doubtless ‘the examples’ will be drawn from studies or even anecdotes from left-leaning sociologists and social psychologists, and correlation will be presented as causation. It’s a strategy that goes back a very long way in this area. Politicians and journalists are collectively utterly unaware of the deception. With the exception of Quentin Letts, obviously.