House of Commons inqury into ‘Women in the Workplace’ [update]

[30.10.12 update: we’ve now had the opportunity to review the government’s own material at the start of the ‘written submissions’ document, and comment on it towards the end of this post].

Some time ago a new House of Commons inquiry was announced, to investigate the thorny question of ‘Women in the Workplace’:

A deadline for written submissions was announced, in October, and C4MB sent a written submission before the deadline, as did also Swayne O’Pie (Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism and Steve Moxon (The Woman Racket). We were somewhat surprised to learn later of an extension of the deadline:

Given the level of interest in this inquiry, the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has decided to extend the deadline for written submissions until Christmas 2012.

Curious. Even more curious is that we’ve today received an email showing that all the written submissions received to date have been published online. A PDF is downloadable from the following:

So far as we can tell from a quick glance, however, our submitted materials have been included in full, for which we’re grateful. Only three submissions (ours, Steve Moxon’s and Swayne O’Pie’s) diverge from the narrative we can summarise as ‘improved gender diversity is a good thing and will revolutionise the economy and make organisations more successful and women happier’ which we know to be so deeply flawed. I refer you to the following sections:

pp 3 – 15: the government’s own responses.

The ‘questions’ the committee is seeking to answer are themselves ideologically-inspired, as we pointed out in our submission. The government’s ideological position is clear from its response. Cranfield Schoold of Management is referred to as if it were not the very definition of an ideologically-driven organisation financed by long-suffering taxpayers, while on page 14 we find the following gem:

In his report (“Women on Boards”, February 2011) Lord Davies summarised the growing body of evidence on the business benefits of increasing the number of women on corporate boards. Research has shown that strong stock market growth among European companies is most likely to occur where there is a higher proportion of women in senior management teams. Companies with more women on their boards were found to outperform their rivals with a 42% higher return in sales, 66% higher return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity.

You couldn’t make it up… the government is resorting to repeating claims made by an ideologically-driven peer citing an organisation (Catalyst) which itself no longer makes those claims. How low can this government get?

Pages 16-23: the 30% club, STILL quoting Catalyst, Credit Suisse etc…. but at least a recognition that the Ahern/Dittmar study showed the negative impact of legislated quotas on Norwegian companies. Now for the $64,000 question – why would we expect the threat of quotas to have a different impact from legislated quotas? Both drive inexperienced women onto boards.

pp 37-68: our submission

pp 131-9: Steve Moxon

pp 149-86: Swayne O’Pie

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