Governor of the Bank of Luxembourg denied senior job… he’s the ‘wrong’ gender

Covert discrimination against men in recruitment and promotion terms has been rife for years – particularly in the public sector, increasingly in the private sector too – but a story pointed out to me by Tony today really takes the biscuit. Discrimination against men is increasingly overt as well, and it’s becoming ever more hard-wired in organisations. You’d have thought, wouldn’t you, that at a time when the EU is in its biggest-ever financial crisis, appointments to the six-person executive board of the European Central Bank would be made solely on the grounds of merit. Well, you’d be wrong. From a BBC website:

EU commissioners are due to debate proposals that would force quotas for women on corporate boards. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is in favour of the proposals to make it mandatory for companies to reserve 40% of seats for women. But several countries, including the UK, are opposed to it.

The debate comes after the European Parliament criticised the lack of female candidates for the European Central Bank (ECB). A parliamentary committee – in a resolution passed by 21 votes to 12, with 13 abstentions – called on the European Council to withdraw the candidacy of Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch for the ECB executive board, saying his appointment would mean that the board would be all male up until 2018.

It’s inconceivable to me that if there was a woman of anything even approaching the same experience and expertise as Yves Mersch, she wouldn’t have been given the job on a plate. The bottom line? In 2012, even for the most critical positions in organisations, the most highly qualified man will have less of a chance of landing a senior position than the least qualified woman.

Maybe if Yves had an operation and became Yvette he could re-apply? It seems a high price to pay…

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